Portsmouth City Council workers hold Guildhall Square rally over plan to cut their pay

RALLY Demonstration against council cuts at Portsmouth Guildhall.    Picture: Allan Hutchings (113254-380)
RALLY Demonstration against council cuts at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113254-380)
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Demonstrators have gathered in Guildhall Square ahead of a Portsmouth City Council special employment committee meeting to discuss plans to cuts workers pay and benefits.

Councillors are set to vote on plans to cut employees’ pay by 1-2.7 per cent, and suspend ‘increment’ payments, awarded as workers take on extra responsibility.

However unions say a fairer process including voluntary redundancies should be considered.

Darin McCloud, 46, a shop steward for Unite said: ‘The council have said our proposal for voluntary redundancies is unfair so they will not be considering it. I’m absolutely gutted.’

Sarah Pickard, 56, a tenancy support officer at the city council said: ‘I think its an attack on normal people and the lowest earners will be effected but the highest won’t be at all.’

Alan Cox, 59, unite member, said: ‘We’ve all been affected by the cost of living and we’ve had three years without pay rises so I think these pay cuts are very unfair.’

The council hopes the cuts can save £2m this year, but unions fear hundreds more jobs will be lost next year, and say a change to redundancy pay-offs will save more.