Union fears hundreds of job losses over council cuts

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The GMB union has said it fears up to 1,000 jobs could be lost at Sheffield City Council as a result of planned budget cuts.

The union, which represents some of the council's 14,000 workers, said such a move would be a "major blow" to employment prospects in the area.

The council has warned it needs to make budget savings of nearly £220m over the next four years.

The authority said it could not yet put a figure on job losses.

It is now engaged in talks with the GMB, as well as the Unison and Unite unions, over the proposed cuts.

GMB official Tim Roache said: "We believe there will be in excess of 1,000 job losses in Sheffield to achieve this level of savings."

Contractual 'changes'

He added: "We will enter into discussions with the council to protect jobs and services as best we can."

Staff have been told they may see changes to their contractual terms and conditions of employment in an effort to make the savings.

Proposals set out by the authority include a change to the sick pay scheme and a freeze on increments.

The GMB said it had requested that the council provide them with further details of their proposals, including how many jobs were likely to be at stake.

'Tough decisions'

A statement from the council said it was facing "challenging economic times ahead" and "tough decisions" would have to be made.

Leader of the council, Paul Scriven, said they were hoping to negotiate terms and conditions in an effort to save jobs.

He said that without knowing the full extent of the government's comprehensive spending review in October, it was impossible to put a figure on potential job losses.

He said: "What we are doing here, we are trying to protect front line services. First of all we are talking about terms and conditions, before we start talking about job cuts."

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