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Cheshire West and Chester Council workers may strike over new contracts

A UNION says members voted four to one in favour of strike action against the council’s imposition of new terms and conditions.

A UNION says members voted four to one in favour of strike action against the council’s imposition of new terms and conditions.

Ray McHale, of West Cheshire Unison, claims 9,000 employees at Cheshire West and Chester Council face the sack if they do not sign new contracts by November 11.

Among the changes, which will save £3.9m a year, are a reduction in mileage rates and premium payments for weekend working. The authority says the move will harmonise contracts across the four predecessor authorities.

But Mr McHale says a consultative ballot of 3,000 Unison members indicates a willingness to strike over the issue.

He said: “We have got a lot of angry members out there who are going to take industrial action. We are looking potentially at taking some action among the Streetscene staff before Christmas.”

CWaC’s staffing committee backed the plans but made concessions including retaining a 10% pay enhancement for evening cover and staff earning less than £17,000, who were due to lose 5% of their pay.

Council leader Mike Jones said: “We have to save more than £38m over the next four years to meet the requirements of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

“These savings will go some way to achieving that but will also help towards maintaining front line services – our main priority – protecting jobs in the future and creating a fairer system.

“Currently terms and conditions vary greatly amongst employees of the four legacy authorities absorbed into the unitary council – unfairly favouring some members of staff against their colleagues.”

 

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