Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Unions demand talks over Birmingham Council job cuts

Birmingham City Council building
The council needs to save millions from its budget

Union bosses want talks with Birmingham City Council over its plan to cut 2,000 jobs.

The UK's biggest local authority needs to slash £69m from its budget and plans to cut 5% of its workforce in the process.

Unions say children's services are expected to be hardest hit, with more than 1,200 positions that could go.

The council hopes the cuts can come mostly through early retirement and voluntary redundancy.

Tony Rabaiotti, of local government workers union Unison, said: "What the council is trying to do is offer a kind of moral blackmail to employees and that is not good enough. These are political decisions."

Patrick Burns, BBC Midlands Today political editor, said the cuts showed it was the turn of the public sector to feel the pain experienced by the private sector last year.

"To some extent the public sector was protected from this initial wave of austerity," he said.

"Well now comes Phase 2, where the public sector gets its share of this chill wind."

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Birmingham Post Union says 2,000 jobs axe is 'panic' by Birmingham City Council - 52 mins ago
Birmingham Evening Mail Birmingham Council Council jobs crisis: Unions seek public support - 6 hrs ago

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