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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Strike ballot over RSPCA jobs
RSPCA workers
Workers fear changes will hit the service provided
Animal welfare workers are to be balloted on whether to take strike action over a major restructuring which will cut 230 jobs across Britain.

The RSPCA announced earlier this year that more than 20 of the jobs would be axed at its headquarters in Brecon in September.

The centre itself - the charity's main base in Wales which houses the control room taking calls from the public - will close in February.

Union leaders are also angry because they say the manager's job in Wales is being downgraded, and the post of press officer made part-time.

Both positions, along with that of the assembly officer, will relocate to Cardiff.

The number of inspectors who respond to calls will stay the same, but the number of market inspectors covering livestock sales in Wales has been reduced from nine to two, leaving smaller markets uncovered.

From Thursday, staff across Britain - including about 90 in Wales - will be balloted on whether to take strike action over the cut-backs.

The RSPCA is saving more than 7m by halving the number of management areas from 10 to five.

spaniel in RSPCA care
Emergency calls will be taken at a centralised control room
The charity has, however, promised that the it will retain its identity in Wales.

In June, staff from Brecon lobbied the animal charity's AGM in protest.

Workers are worried that the plan to replace regional centres with a national control centre run by a private operator would hit the society's ability to respond to calls about sick or injured animals.

The RSPCA hit financial problems following heavy losses on its stock market investments last year.




SEE ALSO:
RSPCA cuts jobs in Brecon
12 Jun 03  |  Mid
RSPCA jobs escape axe
01 May 03  |  Wales
Walkout over RSPCA closure
29 Apr 03  |  Mid


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