More than 3,000 Nottinghamshire Council staff will strike on Thursday against proposed cuts to jobs and social care services, union officials have confirmed.
Heather Wakefield, Unison’s head of local government, said the council’s budget proposals for 2011-12 would lead to 1,000 job losses and “wreak total devastation” on services.
The proposals include increasing residential care home charges by £100 a week in April and by a further £100 a week in 2012. Council leaders also plan to slash the Supporting People budget by £10m over four years.
Unison is to host a protest rally as the council cabinet votes on the proposals tomorrow.
“These cuts would hit the elderly, the disabled, people with learning disabilities, children with special needs and people with mental health problems,” Wakefield said.
“Unison council workers in Nottinghamshire are going on strike to protect their jobs, but also to protect local services.”
The council said it needs to save £154m over the next three years due to central government funding cuts, increasing demands for services and higher inflation. Up to £42m of the savings will be reinvested in 2011-12.
In children’s services, £3.3m will spent on recruiting more social workers over the next four years.
Nottinghamshire Council’s chief executive, Mick Burrows, said: “Officers are putting in place contingency plans to ensure that vital services to vulnerable people, including people receiving social care, are impacted as little as possible during this day of strike action, and that people who need our help still receive it.
“Over the past year we have worked hard to develop budget proposals which minimise the impact on frontline services.
“We forecast that savings of £186m are needed over the next four years, although £76m will be reinvested into services, largely for vulnerable children and adults who need our support.”
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