Strike ballot over Shropshire Council jobs

Image caption A demonstration was held outside Shirehall about the pay cuts last year

Shropshire Council staff are being balloted about industrial action over contractual changes.

The Unison trade union said the council had been given formal notification, but a delay would prevent ballot papers being sent out until next week.

Council staff received a letter in July stating they would be dismissed on 30 September and immediately rehired, but only if they agreed to a 5.4% pay cut.

The council said the pay cuts would avoid making some 400 redundancies.

The new terms for staff also include changes to working conditions, sickness benefits and annual leave entitlement.

Unison carried out an "indicative ballot" in July and said 75% were in favour of striking.

Alan James, from the union, said he was "very confident" of getting a vote for strike action.

If that happens, action would take place in September.

About 40% of staff at Conservative-led Shropshire Council are Unison members.

The authority has said it needs to save £76m by 2014 because of reduced government funding.

It said pay cuts phased in over two years would ultimately cut costs by at least £7m a year.

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