Magazine article Public Finance

Hammersmith Threatens to Sack All Its Staff in Row over New Contracts

Magazine article Public Finance

Hammersmith Threatens to Sack All Its Staff in Row over New Contracts

Article excerpt

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has threatened to sack more than 4,000 staff and rehire them on new contracts in an attempt to push through changes to terms and conditions.

Hammersmiths action follows a similar tack taken by Birmingham City Council earlier this year and prompted Local Government Employers to warn that other authorities could follow suit

Unions say proposed changes to employment terms at the London borough could force staff on to a seven-day contract that would compel them to work at weekends. Unison regional organiser Stuart Barber said: Tm clear that is one option they could go for'

A council spokeswoman denied that any staff who did not already work at weekends would be forced to do so, but said enhanced rates would no longer be paid for Saturday, Sunday or evening working up to 8pm, with overtime payable only after 36 hours had been worked.

Union anger has been stoked by the councils issue of a formal HR1 notice of redundancy covering the entire workforce. The council spokeswoman said: 'We are committed to fully consulting with staff and the trade unions over the next three months.'

But she added: 'Should any staff member not voluntarily agree to the changed terms, one of the options we will consider is terminating their contract and offering them re-engagement on new terms and conditions. …

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