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Branch Executive Committee agrees response to Government cuts

Please see below for details of the motion debated and agreed unanimously at the special Branch Executive Committee meeting held earlier today to discuss the consequences of the recent announcement on job losses by Manchester City Council.

This Branch Executive condemns the ConDem Government attack on our members, our City and the public who value our services. The settlement for Manchester was the fifth worst in the country.

To cut the Budget by £110 million in a single year, effectively 25% of the entire budget, will devastate Council services.

The Labour administration in discussions with trade unions have reiterated that they are still seeking to manage these ConDem cuts without recourse to compulsory redundancies.

£40m savings in non-payroll costs have been identified leaving an approx £70m shortfall

The Council has agreed to introduce a Voluntary Severance and Early Retirement Scheme for all staff excluding directly employed school staff.

Based on average salary with on-costs the intention is to attract 2,000 applications, however the figure will vary depending on the salary level of those who opt to leave.

Also some, depending on their role and potential costs, may not have their applications accepted.

Our Branch has recently met senior management on a daily basis to discuss the position and potential options.

This Branch Executive agrees:

1. That the voluntary severance scheme is regretfully necessary given the sheer scale of the ConDem cuts and acknowledges the reduction in services are bound to impact on the people of Manchester

2. That the Branch seeks full involvement in jointly monitoring the process including proposals around movement of staff to cover the gaps caused in people leaving and work management proposals

3. Whilst recognising that the Council cannot give a guarantee there will not any compulsory redundancies at some point in the future this Branch reaffirms its policy of completely opposing compulsory redundancies.

4. That whilst it is hoped that the voluntary severance proposals may significantly resolve the danger of the threat of compulsory redundancies this Branch believes there are further options which we will pursue with the Council should it be necessary

5. This Branch requests formal approval of the National Industrial Action Committee for our members to ballot our members to take action up to and including indefinite strike action should the Council at any time announce an intention to implement compulsory redundancies

6. Whilst this remains our bottom line the Branch acknowledges to date both senior management and the Council leadership have been open and have positively engaged with the trade unions in responding to the Government attacks on the City

7. Given that, even in the midst of the carnage to our services and threats of unemployment of our members, a LibDem councillor has publicly attacked facilities for trade unions to represent their members this Branch encourages members to work for the removal of LibDem councillors across Manchester whose party support these attacks on our city.

Members are asked to check the Branch website tomorrow for further information as the Branch expect to have details of the severance packages available by the end of the day.

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