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Council contractor set to cut jobs
Updated 12:07pm Thursday 3rd April 2014 in News
Unions have warned that council tenants will have to wait longer for work carried out on their homes if planned redundancies at local authority contractors go ahead.
Brighton and Hove City Council's housing repair contractor Mears have confirmed to The Argus that they are looking to make more than a fifth of their planned maintenance staff redundant.
The firm said the redundancies were part of a restructuring following the successful completion of the Decent Homes standard.
But union bosses have claimed staff are already overworked and that any cuts to the workforce would impact on the service that tenants received.
The maintenance firm will see 17 roles put at risk with seven posts from the team of 34 employees set to go.
The cuts are set to affect staff in surveying, admin and management roles.
The firm has said that the restructuring is within their planned works team and so won't affect tenant repairs which are carried out by a separate team.
Union leaders claim that the redundancies were being made without proper consultation or notice - an accusation that is denied by Mears.
GMB reps said that two members of staff had already left in the past fortnight because of the uncertainty surrounding their jobs.
Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary, said: “This is happening without any consultation with unions.
“Mears are trying to circumvent the unions and not cooperating with us.
“There is already so much work they are having trouble to carry it all out at the moment.
“These changes will have an effect on service delivery.”
Gary Lester, managing director: "During the first four years of its partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council, Mears undertook large scale refurbishments on a city wide programme of planned improvements to ensure all social homes met the Decent Homes standard.
“Following the successful completion of this programme, on time and within budget, Mears needs to review staffing structures to ensure that they align with the priorities of the next six years of its partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council.
"We never take a decision to restructure lightly and consultation with staff is at a very early stage.
“We are committed to working with the unions to keep job losses to a minimum but this must be balanced with ensuring best value for residents and tenants and the delivery of a first rate service across Brighton and Hove."
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