Over 1,000 workers at Chesterfield Borough Council now have extra job security – here’s why
More than 1,000 Chesterfield Borough Council workers have been given extra job security after the authority agreed not to make any compulsory redundancies for six months following a union campaign.
According to Unison, Councillor Tricia Gilby, the council’s leader, has signed a pact to safeguard jobs in recognition of employees’ vital work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The job protection agreement is the first of its kind in the East Midlands.
Coun Gilby said: “We know that these are challenging times for many.
“People are worried about their health and that of their families.
“They shouldn’t have to worry about job security too – and we’re backing this agreement in a strong show of support and thanks to our staff.
“We have a good working relationship with Unison and I am pleased we’ve been able to work together to sign this agreement.”
Huw Bowen, the council’s chief executive, added: “We are immensely proud of all our staff and indebted to them for the tremendous commitment they have shown over the last year.
“They have truly gone above and beyond to put Chesterfield’s communities first.
“We welcome the opportunity to recognise and commend them for their commitment.”
Many council staff were redeployed during the pandemic to help in other sectors where there were shortages or increased demand because of the crisis.
Unison, which drew up the agreement, is urging more employers across the region to follow suit, including other councils and the NHS.
Christina McAnea, Unison general secretary, said: “Staff have worked tirelessly on the front line to keep essential services running and protect our community during Covid.
“The council has recognised the sacrifices made by those staff and has worked with us to offer them job protection in these uncertain times.”
In Chesterfield, the Covid-19 crisis has led to the council losing more than £7.6million in income from services it provides, including car parks, leisure centres and theatres.
The authority has applied for and received around £5m from the Government and cut costs by £900,000 – but this still leaves a budget shortfall of £188,000 for the coming year.
In February, councillors approved what they called a ‘small’ rise in council tax.