Over 1,000 workers have been given extra job security at what is a worrying time for all employees, after Chesterfield Borough Council bosses agreed not to make any compulsory redundancies for six months following a UNISON campaign.
The council’s leader said she signed the ‘Job Protection Agreement’ in recognition of workers’ vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is the first of its kind in the East Midlands.
UNISON, who drew up the agreement, are urging other employers across the region to follow suit. Their officials are currently lobbying other councils and the NHS.
Many of the council’s staff were redeployed during the pandemic to help in other sectors where there were shortages or increased demand because of the crisis.
UNISON’s General Secretary Christina McAnea signed the agreement on behalf of the trade union. Council leader Cllr Tricia Gilby and Chief Executive Huw Bowen signed on behalf of the council.
Christina McAnea said: “During COVID-19, staff have kept working on the front line to keep essential services running to protect our community. I’m extremely proud that Chesterfield Borough Council has recognised the sacrifices made by those staff and has worked with us to offer them job protection in these uncertain times.”
Cllr Gilby said: “We know that these are challenging times for many, and people are worried about their health and that of their families. They shouldn’t have to worry about job security too, and we’re backing this agreement in a strong show of support and thanks to our staff.
“We have a good working relationship with UNISON, and I am pleased we’ve been able to work together to sign this agreement.”
Huw Bowen said: “We are immensely proud of all our staff and indebted to them for the tremendous commitment they have shown over the last year – truly going above and beyond to put Chesterfield’s communities first. We welcome the opportunity to recognise and commend them for their commitment.”