Northamptonshire staff in protest over job changes at County Hall

Staff members of the Unison union have been protesting over changes to employment terms and conditions outside Northamptonshire County Council's HQ.

The council is reviewing staff employment and making changes to pay during periods of absence.

Steve Bennett, from the union, said people who have been off sick have ended up on half pay or less.

The council said there was no option but to cut employment costs and they had changed proposals in negotiations.

Mr Bennett said: "Initially, back in April, staff said they had no alternative but to accept the changes.

No alternative

"But in September, when some of them have had a period off sick for an operation or something, they find they have been reduced to half pay or no pay.

"They are very upset because back in April they believed it would be fine. Now momentum is growing against the changes."

A council spokesman said: "There are no easy answers to the financial challenges we are facing.

"But by saving £4m a year on our employment costs we will avoid further redundancies and direct pay cuts.

"We have been negotiating for over a year with the trade unions, including Unison.

"We did change our proposals following this, but unfortunately there is no avoiding the need to reduce our employment costs.

"The council believes that the package of proposals represented the best option available."

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