Nottingham

Nottinghamshire Council Council staff in strike ballot

Unison members at Nottinghamshire County Council are to be asked whether they want to strike over cuts.

The public sector union is to ballot about 3,600 of its 10,000 members in the county over redundancies and loss of services.

The Conservative-controlled council is reducing its budget by £150m over three years with up to 3,000 posts at risk.

School staff will not be balloted as the proposed day of action would fall during half term.

'Tough choices'

Martin Sleath, Nottinghamshire Unison Joint Branch Secretary, said: "The county council is making a political choice to close day care centres, sell off elderly people's homes, and privatise services.

"It has £159m in cash reserves, yet plans to spend £60m on redundancies rather than on maintaining services."

The council said it had been forced into making tough choices by a large drop in money from central government.

Councillor Andy Stewart said: "Using our reserves to reduce the significant budget pressures next year would be a short-term fix as we would need to find the savings the following year."

Earlier, more than 65% of members said they wanted a formal ballot to take place.

Unison said if industrial action was approved they would consider holding it to coincide with a public rally and demonstration planned in West Bridgford on 24 February - the day councillors meet to set the council tax budget.

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