Fears over public sector jobs

Unions fighting job cuts fear that up to 1,000 posts could be slashed in Hackney – including 800 posts at the council over the next four years.

Hackney council faces cuts to its funding of �44 million over the next year, and the public sector union Unison said the authority is looking to shed 800 posts over the next four years, with 300 workers already earmarked for voluntary redundancy. However, a council spokesman said: “These figures are pure speculation and ones that we do not recognise.”

The council’s statement continued: “Our priority is to protect frontline services and the 2011/12 budget proposals will help do this. However, the reality going forward is that we will need to make some very difficult decisions about services in the financial years beyond 2011/12 due to the Government funding cuts. Before any decisions are taken, we intend to consult with local residents and businesses on how this will be done.”

The council’s chief executive, Tim Shields, has been keeping the 3,200 council staff informed about the changes and the top tier of management has already undergone restructuring.

Budget proposals will go to the leading Labour group next week before being presented to the council for discussion.

A further 100 jobs have already been slashed at the Learning Trust and Unison rep Matthew Waterfall fears that there could be at least 1,000 public sector posts lost through the downturn in the economy.

Glyn Harries, from Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services, said across Hackney public sector workers are facing a tough time with job cuts in hospitals, the voluntary sector, education and teaching.

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He called for people to unite to fight cuts.

Hackney Right to Work is holding a public meeting, Defending the Welfare State, at 7.30pm on Thursday January 20 in the Abney Public Hall, Stoke Newington Church Street.