Council spending cuts 'will cost 1,000 jobs'

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The Independent Online

Plans by a council to make savings of almost £220 million in the next four years will lead to more than 1,000 job losses, a leading union warned today.

The GMB said job losses on that scale at Sheffield City Council would be a "major blow" to employment prospects in the area.

The council said it could not put a figure on job losses, adding that it was entering into discussions with trade unions about the spending 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. This is a major blow to employment in the city and there is no point in the council trying to dispute our figure.

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

A council statement said: "Sheffield City Council is facing challenging economic times ahead and we have recognised quite openly that there will be tough decisions to be made on how we can make significant savings over the next four years.

"We are not, however, in a position to say categorically how this will affect staff and we are committed to keeping our staff informed of proposals on any changes to their terms and conditions.

"That said, it is only fair and responsible that we discuss any proposals with our staff first.

"It is extremely disappointing that GMB has decided to scaremonger their members and council staff with unsubstantiated figures which are not based upon any discussions with the council.

"We have been regularly meeting with the trade unions every two weeks since July and have shared management proposals with them and are committed to furthering discussions and working together and that will continue."