A UNISON campaign to protect the jobs of local government workers has been welcomed by Leicester City Council.
The campaign recognises the contribution made by council workers during the pandemic and wants to ensure those jobs are protected as the country continues its recovery over the next 10 months.
Today (Tuesday 29 June), Leicester’s City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby signed UNISON’s Job Protection Agreement to show his commitment to protecting the jobs of city council staff.
The agreement sets out the council’s pledge to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible and includes a range of measures aimed at keeping staff at work, such as support with skills-matching and retraining.
Sir Peter said: “We are immensely proud of our 6,000 employees and grateful to them for the tremendous commitment they showed during the long months of lockdown.
“Over the last 15 months, they continued to provide the essential services that people rely on, while others were re-trained and redeployed to ensure that emergency food parcels were provided, COVID testing kits were delivered, and pop-up vaccination hubs were staffed.
“By signing this agreement, we are reaffirming our commitment to protect the jobs of all our employees – and pledging to go the extra mile to find alternative employment within the council for any employee whose job is at risk.”
UNISON are urging other employers across the region to follow suit. The union said local government staff who helped keep the public safe during the height of the pandemic have had worries of their own, with many living in households where other family members lost out on wages or have faced redundancy. Local UNISON officials say this agreement means staff have ‘one less thing to worry about’ in these uncertain times.
Leicester UNISON’s Branch Secretary Janet McKenna – who signed the agreement on behalf of the trade union alongside the City Mayor – said: “During Covid-19, staff have kept working on the front line to keep essential services running and protect our communities. Leicester City Council has recognised the sacrifices made by those staff and has worked with us to offer them job protection in these tough times.”