Thousands of council workers in North Tyneside have been issued with redundancy notices – but then told not to worry about their jobs.
North Tyneside council put out notices just before Christmas telling staff that it intends to sack more than 4,000 workers and re-employ them on new contracts.
Unions have threatened strike action and are also planning to take the council to a number of employment tribunals because of the row.
Lynne Robson, the head of the Unison union’s north east of England local government section, said, “We’ve been in negotiations for a number of years to introduce equality-proof pay and conditions but we’ve not been able to agree.
“As a consequence, North Tyneside has issued HR1 forms, which means they’re going to dismiss everybody and re-engage them on a new pay structure, even though it has not been agreed.
“It’s pretty heavy stuff. We’re extremely angry and unhappy about it and we will be issuing a number of equal pay claims against the authority for not introducing a proper pay and grading structure.
“It is potentially a paper exercise but from the union’s point of view, we don’t expect a local authority to impose things on its workers that are clearly wrong.”