Yvonne Green, Branch Secretary attended the online Panel discussion with ELT hosted by Jo Negrini. There were over 850 staff in attendance. A number of questions were raised by Yvonne and other UNISON members.
Questions included :
- Why is there a need to make cuts immediately, would it not be better to wait to see if money is allocated from Central Government. The consultation suggests we are receiving £33 million less as an outer-London borough despite having inner-London pressures. Can we make the case to MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to redefine us as inner London and so bridge the gap ? The consultation also inferred that the council were expecting further funding for COVID19 from Central Government.
- Some staff feel that the cuts were not all down to COVID19 and that the council were already in debt before this.
- By making large staff cuts how will that affect those left dealing with service delivery. How will staff be safe guarded from being overloaded with work?
- By staff continuing to work from home, can savings be made on reducing the need for buildings as roles can be carried out at home ?
- Concerns were raised over the cuts in services including Gateway, children’s services and the ERT (Emergency Response Team).