Unions, management and staff at Hackney council are locked in discussions today over the ballot for industrial action as the financial crisis in the London borough gets worse.
Unison, the TGWU and GMB unions expect to announce the results on 11 December.
Union members have decided to ballot for strike action over job losses and attempts to change redundancy payments, in the wake of reports that the council is to cut services. Hackney Council has a budget deficit of £76 million.
Paul Fawcett, TGWU regional organiser, said: "The council’s decision to cut services and so cut jobs has led to a furious reaction from T&G members. At the same time, the attempts to cut the terms and conditions of redundancy pay was the last straw. Those terms were just about the bare minimum as it was."
A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said: "We are disappointed that the unions took this decision before we started our consultation with them. We need to make enormous savings and, as 80 per cent of our costs are related to staff, this is an area we need to look at. Strike action will not help us improve our services or our budget deficit."
by Mike Broad