Friday, 25 September 2015

council staff will be offered voluntary redundancy

All staff working across Edinburgh City Council will be offered voluntary redundancy terms before a programme of cutting jobs gets underway…

The City of Edinburgh Council is set to lose a number of staff over the next four years, although the exact amount is still under debate. Now, it has emerged all 20,000 employees will be offered the opportunity to seek voluntary redundancy.
The council faces a budget shortfall of £141m, which could lead to thousands of jobs being scrapped. Senior trade unionists expressed fears that savings could only be made by compulsory redundancy.
To date the council has said it would be looking to cut 1,200 jobs in a cost-cutting “transformation programme”. However, it is thought the figure will be closer to 3,000, something leader Andrew Burns denied.
It is expected compulsory redundancies will now be considered as the council tries to address the shortfall in the budget. If this occur, Unison branch president John Stevenson said industrial action would take place.
He said: “There is now the possibility of compulsory redundancies.
“We have a standard policy of balloting our members on taking industrial action should that possibility arise.”
Other proposals to cut money from the budget include a four-year framework that will address an overall shortfall of £126m. An additional £15m will be built into the proposal as a buffer, taking the total to £141m.
Other plans regarding property and asset management will potentially save £80m over 10 years. The report recommended considering outsources some services in a bid to make further savings.
Speaking to The National, Councillor Alasdair Rankin, finance convener, said: “We are very clear about the scale of the financial challenge that the council is facing.
“The council is experiencing greater demand for services than ever before, with a growing population in Edinburgh and increasing numbers of older people and younger people, while our overall budget remains the same.
“We need to take action in order to achieve the necessary savings to meet this demand, and we are making every effort to do this in a way that will safeguard frontline services for the people of Edinburgh.
“We want to invest in the services that are important to the public but must also look to rationalise our spending.
“We recognise that some of these proposals may involve tough decisions, including a reduction in council jobs, particularly in middle management.

“But while this won’t to be easy, savings will allow us to prioritise the things that matter most to people.”

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