Birmingham City Council’s benefits could be impacted by spending cuts

Birmingham City Council has issued a statement informing employees of possible changes to employment contracts, which could include cuts to car mileage allowances and a review of car parking allocation.

In a bid to reduce its net expenditure by £330 million over the next three to four years, the council issued the section 188 notice to trade unions on 8 September.

The council has begun consultation with unions on areas of review, including the introduction of a revised contract of employment for Birmingham City Council, reviewing the criteria applied for the allocation of car parking, and a review of car payments. It is exploring the termination of current allowances, namely essential and casual user allowances, and reviewing the application of two different mileage rates based on engine size.

In the section 188 statement, Stephen Hughes, chief executive at Birmingham City Council, said: “The council needs to radically review its overheads and expenditure and as part of this there is a need to broaden the existing review of employee allowances, and terms and conditions of employment which began earlier this year.

“We also have a duty to ensure that any payments that we make to employees are fair and meet the legal requirements of Equal Pay legislation.

“The council will be keeping employees informed of the proposals and the consultation. To support this, a dedicated page is being created on the council’s intranet, and this will run in parallel with updates by bulletins.

“No decisions have been made at this time and every effort will be made to minimise the impact on employees.”

Public sector union, Unison, has called on Birmingham City Council to withdraw redundancy notices sent to 26,000 non-school employees, stating that the council ‘issued section 188 notices to all staff with the threat that, if they do not accept reduced terms and conditions, they will be sacked’.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “This is a disgraceful way to treat loyal council workers.

“Birmingham City Council needs to think again and withdraw the threat of redundancy hanging over the heads of 26,000 staff. 

“The council needs to come and talk with the unions, and work out a way to find a solution.”

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