Reading Labour councillors U-turn on fire and rehire

29 March 2021

RBC Civic Centre

Following lobbying from Green councillors, trade unions and Labour Party members, the Labour-run council has U-turned on plans to use fire and rehire to impose changes to terms and conditions for some council staff.

Labour councillors are proposing cutting terms and conditions for council staff including some of our care workers to save £326,000. Terms and conditions to be cut included over time, shift/unsocial hours allowance, and pay protection. The council’s secret business case document contained a plan, with timescales for using fire and rehire if collective and individual negotiations with staff failed. The Labour-run council would have fired and rehired staff in September 2021.

Trade unions and staff only became aware when Green councillor Rob White raised the Labour-run council’s plans with them. Following lobbying from Green councillors, trade unions and Labour Party members, Labour councillors have committed to taking fire and rehire off the table.

Rob White Green councillor said: “Having fire and rehire in the council plan is against national Labour policy and is negotiating with a loaded gun on the table. Greens will continue to work with the unions to stand up for workers in Reading especially those providing essential services.

Louise Keane, Green candidate for Katesgrove who finished in second place last time said: “This is no way to thank people who have been working hard on the front line during the pandemic. Well done to everyone who helped change the mind of Labour councillors in Reading.

"Greens will continue to hold the Labour-run council to account you can support the Green Party by joining or making a donation."

The business case and detailed plan can be found starting on page 99 here.

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