Birmingham Connexions staff to strike over 30% cuts

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Staff at Birmingham's Connexions youth careers service are to take industrial action in opposition to a 30% budget cut and possible job cuts, Unison says.

Members will protest outside centres in Northfield, Kings Heath, Broad Street in Birmingham and outside the closed centre in Handsworth on 6 April.

Up to 36 jobs are at risk, Unison said. Staff will also stage a rally outside the council house on the same day.

The council said the news was "extremely regrettable".

In January, a strike by 180 Unison members was called off after plans for compulsory redundancies were temporarily suspended.

'Put in context'

The service had 17% cut from its budget in this financial year and faces a 30% reduction now the budget has been set for the next financial year leading to the job cuts, Unison said.

The spokesman said the council had agreed the posts will be funded for a limited time.

The council has said it needs to save £212m in the next financial year leading to the loss of 2,450 jobs throughout departments.

Unison said the industrial action was a last resort but as the budget has been set, the cuts seems inevitable.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: "We have received formal notification of industrial action by Connexions staff, and as always such action is extremely regrettable.

"At the moment all options are being looked at for Connexions staff such as voluntary redundancy and moves into other vacant roles within the council.

"No-one is being made redundant on a compulsory basis at this stage.

"The reduction in funding for the service has to be placed in the context of the council needing to save £212m in the forthcoming financial year as its contribution to the effort to cut the national deficit."

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