MORE than 100 union members lobbied the council’s HQ building in protest at proposed changes to workforce contracts.

Cheshire West and Chester Council plans to harmonise the inherited terms and conditions of the four predecessor authorities sparking a demonstration outside the staffing committee on Tuesday

The unions believe the council’s real motivation is to save £5.5m by measures such as reducing car mileage rates and removing premium payments for unsocial hours.

Unison says members may be balloted on action if new contracts are imposed. This could include car users refusing to use their vehicles, a ban on voluntary overtime, care workers not doing voluntary sleep-overs at homes plus library staff and street cleaners declining to work weekends.

The council has now put forward a revised package of proposals triggering a fresh staff consultation which will delay any management decision until October.

Ray McHale, of West Cheshire Unison, said the council still intended to withdraw premium payments for weekend working and had ‘not really’ moved over its position on car allowances although the proposals had been ‘tweaked’ in some respects.