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Wednesday 2nd
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

COUNCIL workers in Newcastle face losing up to a third of their wages under plans announced yesterday after the Tory government slashed the council’s funding again.

A coalition of unions including public service union Unison, construction union Ucatt and general unions GMB and Unite said it would not rule out industrial action over the plan.

Newcastle City Council, in common with local authorities across the country, has been hit by vicious funding cuts, losing £200 million since the Tories came to power 2010.

Next year, it faces a £30m deficit and plans to cut the wages of 30 per cent of its staff — 1,800 workers — by up to a third.

Unison branch secretary Paul Gilroy said: “It’s a disgrace that Newcastle’s Labour council have turned on their workforce to slash staff salaries by up to a third, particularly after recently agreeing to increase the pay of the chief executive and directors.

Colin Burr of GMB said: “This is an attack on staff who care for the most vulnerable adults and children across the city. It attacks those groups who are predominately the lowest-paid and rely on allowances and weekend enhancements to make a living.”

In a joint statement, Dave Eglon from Unite and Steve Conwell from Ucatt said the Labour-run council “should hang their heads in shame.”

Councillor Veronica Dunn, said: “This is not something that we want to do at all. However, government cuts mean we have to make massive savings to protect services and jobs.”