Job losses announced just before Christmas

�More jobs are at risk at Havering Council, it has been announced.

The moves are being made due to restructuring and budget constraints – but the number of cuts and the timing of the announcement has been criticised by a union.

The GMB union was sent a Section 188 Advance Notice – which it claims states there will be 160 redundancies.

Havering Council disputes the number of redundancies, saying it will be much lower.

‘Shocked’


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A 90-day consultation period started earlier this month, with the jobs scheduled to go by March 31, 2012.

The notice says the council will look for volunteers from the workforce before any compulsory redundancies are made.

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Sandra Vincent, GMB regional officer, said “GMB is shocked the council has made this announcement of 160 redundancies in the run up to Christmas.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is an appalling present for our members.

“A double dip recession, rising unemployment, rapidly falling living standards are the Tory/Lib Dem miserable Christmas gifts to the nation.

“The millions of workers without jobs face a miserable Christmas and a bleak New Year.”

Cllr Steven Kelly, deputy leader of Havering Council, said: “We have informed the GMB that their press release distorts the facts.

“We are required by law to notify the unions of the total number of jobs ‘at risk of redundancy’ at the start of any restructure of council staff.

“The actual number of redundancies at the end of the process will be considerably lower, once we have taken vacancies and temporary contractors into account.

“For instance, since the Government’s Emergency Budget in June 2010, we alerted the unions that there were 684 jobs ‘at risk of redundancy’ as we changed the shape of the organisation.

“But to date, just over 100 members of staff have been made redundant as a result of reductions to our funding – approximately half of which have been voluntary redundancies.”

Garry Chick-Mackay, branch secretary of Havering Unison, said: “We are concerned at the impact these cuts are having on the provision of service.

“But we’re also worried on the impact this is having on the workforce, both those who face redundancy, and those who remain in a perpetual state of uncertainty about their futures.”

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