Mass meetings about cuts

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TWO mass meetings have been called by Portsmouth’s three largest trades unions to discuss city council plans to save cash.

On Wednesday, GMB, Unite and Unison members employed by Portsmouth City Council will gather at the city’s Guildhall.

They will tell union leaders what they think about the council’s plans to alter the terms and conditions of their employment.

Talks between the unions and council leaders re-open on Wednesday, March 24, and it is understood the council will suggest a 1.5 per cent pay cut across the board.

It is also considering cutting sick pay, holiday pay and other staff benefits.

Unison and GMB have previously indicated they are unlikely to accept the proposals, which the council suggests could prevent job losses in 2012-13.

The council says it could save 50 jobs, but GMB representatives estimate the changes would see employees face a six per cent pay decrease in real terms.

But Unison’s Portsmouth branch secretary, Lindsay Williams said: ‘We have called two lunchtime meetings at the small concert hall at the Guildhall.

‘We want our members to let us know their thoughts, so we, as negotiators, can represent their views when negotiations start again.’