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    Connexions strike postponed after last ditch talks

    A half day strike by 180 Connexions workers has been called off due to progress in talks with Birmingham City Council.

    UNISON says it agreed to suspend the walk out after Council agreed to lift the immediate threat of compulsory redundancies pending further negotiations over the next 28 days.

    UNISON made the decision after last minute talks with management and Councillor Les Lawrence.  
    Roger McKenzie, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary described the talks as constructive.

    "As we all know, in other areas the Council have been less than constructive to say the least. Today just shows the progress that can be made when the Council sits down and talk to us with an open mind," McKenzie said in a statement.

    Connexions provides guidance, support and personal development services for young people aged 13 - 19, with aid extended to the age of 25 for those with a disability.

    A £13 million cut to the Children Young People and Families budget announced in July means 120 Connexions workers may lose their jobs.   Offices have already closed in Erdington and Handsworth and workers are awaiting word on whether offices will also close at Broad Street, Kings Heath and Northfield.

    Tony Rabaiotti, UNISON's head of local government said he's hopeful compulsory redundancies can be avoided altogether.

    "Our stewards and our convenor in Connexions made it clear right from last August when we first  heard of this 26% cut in the budget  that we weren't going to roll over.  Since that time we have inched further and further towards an  agreement closer and closer to an agreement and I think with the input of Councillor Lawrence ...we finally managed to see a situation whereby we can get back round the negotiating table," Rabaiotti said.

    Rabaiotti said if the talks go "belly up" the union can reinstate the strike action but only as a last resort.

    Posted by Birmingham Budget Cuts on 3:09 PM. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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