Posted by: Eddie | January 9, 2011

Jobs to go at Portsmouth City Council

The scale of the cuts for the city has finally been announced with job loses to reach the 400 mark.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson has announced that 9% of the councils workforce will be thrown on the scrap heap and they will not be the last.

He said: ‘There will probably be more job cuts in future. Our grant will be cut again next year and we can’t go on as we are any longer.

‘We do hope there will be fewer than 400 actual jobs lost, because we have several posts already empty because of the recruitment freeze we put in place.

‘But we have to protect the most vulnerable people in the city. We’re looking at other measures too, such as cutting costs on sick pay and on pay increases. It’s going to be very difficult, there’s no point pretending it isn’t. But there’s no money available.’

The council is having their hand forced by Westminster who are severely cutting government funding to local councils. Though, tellingly, there was no mention of cutting executive pay for the councils management, a measure that would help save quite a few jobs.

Portsmouth Council chief executive David Williams, who is paid £176,578 a year according to GMB, said
‘It will be for councillors to decide in February’s budget meeting where those losses will occur.’

This means that the council have been able to figure out how many job loses will occur without knowing where these cuts will come from which tells us that they’ve already decided what pay bracket the job loses will come from.

Kevin Brandstatter, senior organiser for trade union GMB’s south coast region, confirmed unions have been told 408 jobs will be lost in total.

He said: ‘We and other unions have started discussions with the city council, and we have been told 408 is the number they’re likely to lose. We’ve expected job losses, but things have started moving recently, because of government funding announcements.’

Along with job loses, the council will be making attacks on the working conditions of the remaining staff, reducing sick pay, redundancy pay, etc.

If these cuts aren’t fought against effectively, then we’re looking at many families losing large proportions of their income and the job market becoming increasingly more competitive for those looking for work.

There will be a march against the cuts on saturday 15th January which is organised by umbrella group Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (PACT). The march will assemble at 12:30pm outside the university library on Cambridge Road. Spread the word and build the anti-cuts movement!

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