Staff working for Norfolk County Council Children’s Services have been told that a budget cut of £4m could result in between 40 and 80 people being made redundant.
Rumours about potential redundancies had been circulating for some time and senior steward Dave Lambert had tried to find out the truth. But despite a longstanding informal protocol between the council and UNISON that the branch would be kept informed about redundancy announcements he was kept in the dark.
To make matters worse it appeared that councillors had been briefed on the funding cut a week before and the council had also issued a briefing note to the press before sharing the contents with UNISON.
Branch secretary Jonathan Dunning told us, “I am disappointed to put it mildly, with the way the council have handled this. Members’ jobs and livelihoods are at risk and we still don’t know why this cut is deemed to be necessary. We are seeking an urgent meeting with Children’s Services managers. We need to find out how and why this has been so badly mishandled and, more importantly, to get the full details of this proposed budget cut to an essential public service.”