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Calderdale council workers protest against union rights threat

Town hall demonstration comes after Con-Dem councillors attacked union reps' facility time

Council workers in Yorkshire demonstrated outside a Calderdale town hall yesterday after an alliance of Tory and Lib Dem councillors launched attacks on union rights and deprived communities.

The Halifax-based district council held its annual budget meeting earlier this week, where Tory and Lib-Dem councillors forced through a “review” of paid time off allowed for vital trade union work.

Workers are worried the plans would affect health and safety, representation of staff at disciplinary and grievance hearings and how disputes are resolved.

The Tories and Lib Dems also voted to “review” funding to neighbourhood teams working in the district’s most deprived communities. Instead they will allocate cash equally across the district — including affluent Tory-voting areas.

Outside Halifax town hall more than 100 angry union members and anti-cuts campaigners demonstrated against cuts and in defence of sick pay and union rights.

Labour councillor Steve Sweeney slammed the coalition for its move against neighbourhood community workers in the district’s most deprived areas.

“They are calling it a review but they are talking about cutting £100,000 from the neighbourhood teams’ budget this year and £200,000 next year,” he said. “Then they voted to allocate money across all wards. Cash is effectively being transferred from deprived areas to affluent Tory wards.”

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