Public sector workers to stage protest against Barking and Dagenham council cuts

Public sector workers will stage a protest against proposed council cuts which they claim are unnecessary.

Members of union Unison and its supporters are set to hold a lobbying rally at Dagenham Civic centre on Wednesday at noon, as the council’s cabinet decide whether to recommend a number of savings.

The final decision will not take place until February however, when the budget is set.

Secretary of Barking and Dagenham Unison, Dave Clarke, said the union was angry because it had suggested 15 ways of making significant savings that would save jobs, but claims these alternatives had “fallen on deaf ears”.

Mr Clarke also said the union disputed the council’s claim that the government is to blame for the proposed cuts.

“The government has imposed the cuts but the council has made choices about where they will fall,” he said.

He criticised the council for proposing to cut 285 jobs after having already slashed 600 posts over the past two years.

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Mr Clarke also said the planned savings unfairly focused on those at the frontline.

A council spokesman insisted the budget situation is being discussed with trade unions.

He added: “It is unfair to say that these suggestions have ‘fallen on deaf ears’ and most importantly that the council should stop blaming the government when councils and public sector organisations across the country are facing serious and far reaching pressures on their budgets.”