Sheffield council losses 'suicide' for city, says union

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Thousands of workers at Sheffield City Council have been warned of redundancy in a move described by a union as a "suicide note" for the city.

Unison said it had been issued with a general notice of redundancy covering 8,500 staff.

The union warned it would plunge the "city into deep economic recession".

The council, which needs to make savings of £220m over the next four years, said it was not a redundancy notice but a technical process.

Kevin Osborne, Unison regional organiser, said: "These are potentially the most savage cuts to essential services in living memory and we are deeply concerned about the effect they will have on the whole economy of Sheffield."

Industrial action

Mr Osborne said meetings would now take place with management to try and avert the "council's suicide note for the whole of Sheffield".

He said a series of meetings were also being held with members to discuss options for industrial action.

Start Quote

We are still continuing to meet with the trade unions and are still working towards a collective agreement”

End Quote Sheffield City Council spokesman

Liberal Democrat-run Sheffield City Council, which employs about 15,000 people, said the notices were part of national procedure.

A spokesman said: "What we have communicated to the trade unions is, that as part of our ongoing negotiations with them, we are following national guidance.

"There is a process that, by law, we have to follow and certain formalities have to be complied with and that includes issuing what is known as an HR1 notice to the government and shared with the trade unions. We are now at that stage.

"This statutory notice is part of the formal and technical process when two parties haven't yet reached a collective agreement.

"We are still continuing to meet with the trade unions and are still working towards a collective agreement."

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