Unions still fighting £2m attack on workers' contract terms
TALKS are continuing over plans to save £2 million by cutting council workers' terms and conditions.
Union leaders have warned that Stoke-on-Trent City Council's lowest-paid workers face losing up to £6,500-a-year through the proposed cuts to their contractual rights.
They include cutting allowances paid to staff for working nights and weekends, asking employees to take up to five days' unpaid holiday and charging workers to park on council land.
Council chief executive John van de Laarschot had hoped to implement the terms and conditions cuts in 2011/12.
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But he has achieved just £200,000 and the dispute is still dragging on.
Stoke-on-Trent Unison's executive committee chairman Jamie Ashton said: "There needs to be fairness and equity in any changes to terms and conditions.
"It is acknowledged that the finances are difficult and cuts have to be made as pressures come from the Government.
"But we are not prepared to accept proposals which see the vast majority of the terms and conditions savings impact on the lowest-paid workers.
"The pain has to be fairly borne by everyone, preferably more at the top."
Councillors have approved £21 million budget cuts for 2013/14.
But finance officers say it is unlikely savings of £1.8 million on terms and conditions will be achieved by April.