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Strike Action Looms Over Plan To Close 14 Children's Centres and Cut 100 Jobs

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GMB members have been served their notice today - this is happening to some of the lowest paid employees of the council.

GMB, the union for council workers, is to ballot members for industrial action over plans to shut 14 Coventry children’s centres with the loss of up to 100 jobs.

Coventry City Council is currently consulting with staff and unions on proposed changes to how the authority delivers children’s services.

The proposals are wide ranging, but include plans to close 14 centres and create four family hubs; ending of all council run nursery provision, changes to job roles, up to 100 plus job loses of front line staff but the introduction of 10 new chief officer management posts.

GMB held an emergency meeting yesterday with members working in children’s services.

More than 150 members attended and overwhelmingly indicated that they wanted to be consulted on taking industrial action.

GMB will now ballot members in Coventry Children’s Services for industrial action.

Justine Jones, GMB Organiser, said:

“As a result of issues around the proposals and how the consultation process has been undertaken a number of GMB members raised concerns through the council’s grievance procedure.

“The council has refused to hear these.

“GMB has also raised numerous formal disputes regarding these issues, but again the council has also refused to hear these.

“Some GMB members have been served their notice today before the end of consultation, this is happening to some of the lowest paid employees of the council who are predominately part time women workers.

“GMB members are extremely upset and frustrated. “They are worried about their jobs and the future of the services they provide. They currently believe that the service they work in and the proposed new structure does not safeguard the most vulnerable children of Coventry.

“The last thing our members want to do is to take industrial action, but they will not stand by as their issues are ignored.

“While GMB remains committed to trying to work with the council to find an agreed way forward, we can only do this if the council agrees to sit down and listen to us and address the concerns of our members.”

Stuart Richards, GMB Senior Organiser, added:

“The Tory cuts to council funding are placing massive pressures on how services are funded and delivered.

“GMB will continue to work both nationally and locally to highlight the damage being done to the public sector.

“In the meantime, the only way councils are going to be able to continue to provide essential front line services is by listening to the people who actually deliver the services.

“GMB will continue to fight to make sure this happens.”

ENDS

Contact: Stuart Richards on 07957 265744, Justine Jones on 078344 16067 or GMB Press Office on GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

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