UPDATE: Thousands of Kirklees Council workers to be balloted for strike action

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Kirklees Council said it is ‘disappointed’ that thousands of its workers will be balloted for strike action later this week.

Earlier today, Kirklees Unison said its 6,500 members would be balloted from Thursday, until Wednesday, July 10, over compulsory redundancies.

It claims a temporary ‘no compulsory redundancies’ agreement was broken when the council made two staff members redundant at Ashbrow JI&N School back in January.

But a spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “It is disappointing that the union are balloting for strike action while negotiations over this issue are still ongoing.

“However, if there is to be a vote the important thing is for a high number of members to take part so the outcome is a true reflection of the views of the union membership.

“It is a complex issue but we will continue to work to limit the number of job reductions while providing a service to the public.”

Announcing the ballot, Kirklees Unison branch secretary Paul Holmes, said: “Kirklees Council underspent last year. It underspent by £5m and still recruits staff on over £110,000 per year.

“Meanwhile the public, in the middle of the government’s austerity programme, are faced by declining services and cuts.

“Who will compulsory redundancies help? No one, except employers who are out to threaten employees. The public are faced with budget cuts, housing shortages, rising prices, unaffordable mortgages, pension cuts and poverty. Enough is enough.”