Union hits out at Sure Start job losses

Union hits out at Sure Start job losses

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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Union hits out at Sure Start job losses
A union organiser is calling for a widespread campaign against the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's plans to cut staff in Sure Start children's centres.

The borough has nine Sure Start children's centres which provide services for children under five and their parents.

Although the authority decided to keep all nine open after widespread consultation, it has warned that some jobs will be lost.

GMB union organiser Frank Minal attended two out of three consultation meetings with Sure Start staff last week and says that the Royal Borough plans to cut 12 staff.

He said: "These proposals are shocking. Cutting back will impact on families who need practical support from well trained staff in the Sure Start centres.

"GMB and staff will resist these madcap proposals and are considering protests in the locality."

But the council's cabinet member for children Cllr Eileen Quick has hit back, accusing Mr Minal of 'spreading misinformation'. She said that although 20 staff were summoned to consultation meetings and told their jobs were at risk, the number of redundancies would be much lower than 12.

She said: "I can only assume Mr Minal has done some arithmetic based on the amount of money we want to save and current staff numbers.

She added: "It is very mischievous of him to put these incorrect figures out without getting them confirmed. It is the sort of misinformation that is upsetting to local parents."

She said that efforts would be made to find different jobs in children's services for people who were made redundant and that money saved would all go to  other services affecting under five-year-olds.

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