Saturday, 11 June 2011

Failure in bid to save cashier service

RAC were present at the lobby of the Council Cabinet. This article from The Rotherham Advertiser describes the protest and demonstration, and the implications of the council's failure to listen to the demands of the people.

PLANS to shake up council payment services have been given the green light despite protests from thousands of people.

Almost 4,000 people signed a petition in objection to sweeping changes which union bosses claim will see the loss of two thirds of all cashiers’ jobs at Rotherham Borough Council’s neighbourhoods offices.

UNISON have warned that removing the option to pay council bills at the district offices would also make life harder for service users.

 But councillors approved the scrapping of the cashier service at Wath, Greasbrough, Rawmarsh and Kimberworth Park despite the petition and lobbying ahead of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting at the Town Hall.

A council spokesman denied union claims that the move would lead to up to 17 job losses, adding: “We will, as much as possible, try to implement the improved services to customers without the need to look at losing staff on a compulsory basis.”

The spokesman said that a number of staff had already enquired about voluntary redundancy and others could be redeployed.

Val Broomhead, convenor at UNISON Rotherham, said the union was disappointed by the move.

“This service is a lifeline for many people as a source of advice and support and two thirds of staff are now threatened with losing their jobs,” she said.

Mrs Broomhead said that the proposed changes to the cashier service had been approved despite limited consultation with staff, service users and trade unions, adding: “We will be looking at the legal implications of that.”

Householders will be asked to make payments at PayPoints, online, or by travelling to other council offices.

The council is working with its IT partner RBT and council housing firm 2010 Rotherham Ltd to introduce payment facilities at more than 140 new outlets across Rotherham—and more beyond—using customer service centres, post offices and PayPoint locations.

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