Striking staff at Dacorum Council warn: “Redundancies and service cuts will come next”

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Staff rallied on the steps of Dacorum Borough Council on Tuesday, after bosses slashed their redundancy rights.

Members of the trade unions Unite and UNISON branded the reduction of redundancy entitlement, from 2.2 weeks to 1.5, as “unreasonable and unfair”.

And they believe this shows the council plans to cut services and make staff redundant.

UNISON staff will strike on Saturday, March 31, while loaders and drivers from Unite will refuse weekend overtime shifts for 12 weeks beginning on the same date.

Matt Nix – UNISON branch secretary at the council, said: “We work hard for the people of Hemel Hempstead. They are our neighbours and our family.

“We don’t understand why the council would attack our rights in this manner.

“We agreed to a number of changes reducing our terms and conditions but this was unreasonable and unfair and the final straw.

“All my colleagues believe that the council is going to cut services and make staff redundant.

“Why else would they cut redundancy pay?”

As a result of the strike action household waste and recycling will not be collected over the Easter weekend, with a knock-on affect in the following weeks.

Further strike action involving cemeteries staff, street care, and grounds maintenance is planned for the near future.

Sally Marshall, chief executive of Dacorum Borough Council, said: “The industrial action will affect some services, most noticeably the waste collections.

“I am sorry for any disruption residents may experience. Although union members have the right to strike, we will do our best to maintain essential services and minimise disruption as far as possible.

“Some disruption is unavoidable as a consequence of industrial action.”