REVEALED: Portsmouth council boss to get Valentines Day card from unions angry over cuts

Cllr Donna Jones
Cllr Donna Jones
Sir Vince Cable is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats

Sir Vince Cable is new Liberal Democrats leader

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UNIONS are to present the leader of Portsmouth City Council with a giant Valentines Day card in the hope she will reverse cuts to their work.

Bosses who represent the council’s workforce are angry at a policy, being driven by Cllr Donna Jones, to halve the budget for ‘facility time’ which funds trade union representatives to provide representation to workers, smooth out the disciplinary process and avert possible escalations into an industrial dispute.

Union groups Unite, GMB and Unison plan to present Cllr. Jones with a huge Valentine’s card at Tuesday’s full meeting of the council.

It will say ‘I love unions’ on the front and be filled with messages from union members.

The unions want the councillors to restore the proposed cut to the facility time budget, as it is a very cost-effective way of maintaining good industrial relations.

The row has been fuelled by Cllr Jones’ claim that facility time was ‘a luxury’.

Unions also claim Cllr Jones hired her own policy and strategy advisor at a salary of £42,000-a-year, which she strongly denies.

Unite regional officer Richard White said: ‘We are calling on the full council to restore the facility time budget which is shared between three trade unions: Unite, GMB and Unison.’

Tuesday’s full council will also see key decisions made about council tax – which could rise by 4.99 per cent.