The UK’s biggest trade union is calling on the government to urgently address the ‘broken’ local council funding system that has led to Nottingham City Council effectively declaring itself bankrupt.
Nottingham City Council must now stop all spending other than on services it must provide by law, which could mean drastic cuts to non-statutory services and put jobs at risk. The authority will also need to place a freeze on recruitment. With a sizeable number of job vacancies at the council, this will inevitably lead to already stretched staff taking on more work and stress, says UNISON.
UNISON East Midlands head of local government Rachel Hodson said: “However well prepared council staff were for this inevitable announcement; it won’t stop hundreds of workers panicking about losing their jobs and paying the bills. The fact that this has happened so close to Christmas only makes this news worse.
“UNISON is committed to working with the council leadership to deal with the impact of the section 114 notice being issued and will support council workers in any way possible.”
In a joint statement, UNISON Nottingham City branch chair Jean Thorpe and branch secretary Christina Sanna, said: “This is terrible news for the workforce and for our local communities. Council staff are in no way to blame for this crisis.
“Local communities depend on the many services that we provide, and any further cuts will impact on communities many of whom are already suffering the impact of austerity.
“Our UNISON branch will be campaigning against any attacks on jobs, services and terms and conditions, holding meetings with members, organising protests, and contacting other city council trade unions, the Nottingham trade union movement, and local communities, to join a campaign to oppose cuts and other attacks.”