Council Budget Briefing

The Council Leader and Chief Executive today issued a broadcast message to all staff on the future possible changes in Council funding.

UNISON believes in the need for transparent communication by the Council with all staff and especially during difficult and uncertain times.

We believe our union and members should be informed of possible future situations and circumstances direct from the Council leadership and not rely on rumours.

It is obvious this Coalition Government, notwithstanding the massive central funding cuts in Manchester of last year which led to the loss of over 2,000 jobs and the decimation of services, are still intent on further cuts in year two and three of their three year Comprehensive Spending Review.

It will be some time before the Council receives definite information about Government funding for our services both in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

UNISON has worked in the past with the Council to deliver the best possible service to Manchester people within available budgets.

Our members have been flexible, pro active and positive in meeting these challenges.

Our Branch has maintained effective protection arrangements for all members in that process including maintaining our terms and conditions, despite the great upheavals and changes, when this has unfortunately not been the case elsewhere.

Whilst the outcome of the Government settlement for our Council funding is clearly not likely to be positive, the scale of the possible future cuts is uncertain and will not be announced for weeks to come.

Manchester UNISON continues to make clear its complete opposition to any Council compulsory redundancies and our preparedness to seek support for strike action across the Council should our members ever be threatened with that.

In terms of the issue of any need for voluntary severance or voluntary early retirement, and the timetable of any such applications and the possibility of any enhancements, this will largely depend on the relative scale of the Government cuts in funding to Manchester.

As specific financial figures are yet to be announced there can be no certainties at present as to the possible impact on services and the need for any workforce reductions.

The Branch appreciates members will have concerns about the future, uncertainties about future service changes and will also naturally want to know at the earliest opportunity what their options may be.

UNISON will regularly update stewards and contacts on any latest news and post details on the Branch site as and when it becomes available.

Any proposed measures the Council may consider will be subject to consultation and negotiation with UNISON and the Branch will inform and consult members on any final proposals.

These continue to be difficult times for our members and those who we provide services to, but we will represent our members in a determined manner as well as defending our services as far as possible.

All members in the meantime are asked to understand any ‘what if’ questions will not be able to be answered on an individual basis but clearly any collective issues can and will be pursued.

Stewards and contacts will be regularly updated and members are encouraged to check our branch website for the latest information.

This is a time for unity and we need to be strong as a union and members are urged to recruit any colleagues in their workplace who are not trade union members.

Pat McDonagh
Branch Secretary

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