‘Payback’ claim as council cuts convenors

Unions say it is payback time as council bosses in Hull try to halve the numbers of full-time convenors they employ.

Coun Phil Webster

It was claimed today it was because they gave management a “bloody nose” when they sought to change terms and conditions two years ago.

It comes at time of massive reductions in central Government funding, with further cuts of £67m over the next five years.

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Pete Schofoeld, a convenor for Unite, said: “They want to weaken our positions so they can attack members’ terms and conditions.”

The council says while staff numbers have fallen by 10,000 in 12 years, convenor numbers remain unchanged at seven. Two are paid for by the schools forum.

The proposal is to cut 2.5 full time equivalents to save £100,000.

However in an open letter the joint trade unions say Cabinet members “have been presented with statistics designed to persuade you to do the Tories’ dirty work and attack the unions.” And they warn the move will set them on a “collision course which is in no one’s best interests but the Tories.”

However Coun Phil Webster said the move was driven by the need to reduce costs. Any convenor who was “displaced” would be offered their original post back, an alternative or voluntary redundancy.

He said: “Should an individual union choose to fund the post the council would be happy to continue at the current level.”