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Union in mass protest against Wirral cuts
TRADE Unionists will converge on Wallasey town hall tonight for a mass demonstration against the coalition government's slashing of public services.
Around 700 Wirral Council jobs are at risk as the local authority wields the axe to cut spending by £77m over this financial year.
Town hall union Unison have issued a rallying call before tonight’s demonstration, stating: "We need members of the Wirral public to join us in standing up for council services."
They claim the "Condems" want to slash over £100m from services over the next three years – affecting families, friends and neighbours.
The rally will form up at Seacombe Ferry at 5pm before demonstrators march on the town hall to make their views known at tonight's council budget cabinet.
The threat of strikes was averted two weeks ago when councillors voted to give enhanced redundancy pay-offs to hundreds of staff who face losing their jobs.
Council leader Phil Davies pledged: "This administration is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies as far as possible. We need well-motivated people to be a high-performing council."
The council has sent out more than 3,000 letters to workers informing them their positions are on the "at risk" list.
Whitehall has indicated that Wirral Council could use its capital receipts to pay for redundancies, though this has yet to be ratified in writing.
Joe Taylor, branch secretary of Wirral Unison welcomed Cllr Davies's remarks that the job losses would be on a voluntary basis.
He warned, however: "If the council was to go for compulsory redundancies I would have to ballot member for industrial action.
"We have moved away from that now."
Over the week-end Unison general secretary Dave Prentis claimed that members faced losing their jobs and their public services because of the "the thirst of the rich, the greed of the bankers and the failure of government."
Addressing Unison's women’s conference in Liverpool Mr Prentis proposed an alternative to Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity economics.
He said: "You have to invest for growth, invest to protect, invest for a future that works."
He condemned the government for using the economic crisis “as their opportunity to finish what Thatcher started – the privatisation of the NHS, schools and the police force."