News UNISON News Magazine

Exposing myth of need to rush to redundancy

UN October 2015
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There is a spin being played by the senior officials that the world ends on 1 April 2016 if 2,000 staff are not made redundant by that date. The greatest concern is that our ‘Member Led’ council appear to be accepting the myth.

Lobby against cuts Thurs 29 Oct. 08.45 – 09.45 City Chambers, High Street

They say that if there are 50 or 250 people still in the redeployment pool or still in post, the council’s financial position will worsen and more cuts will be required.

Senior officials claim that staff are under too much anxiety and that staff would rather go now. To ease your worries they are moving a five year program to six months. This is not beneficial to staff or to the services that you provide.

To encourage you to leave they have the carrot of voluntary severance, but even they don’t believe it is attractive enough to get 2,000 people to go.

So they need the stick. The stick is compulsory redundancy if you are made surplus, introduced to force more staff to take severance.

The administration and other councillors may well be accepting the spin and the stick but we are not and neither should you.

At the council’s Finance and Resources Committee held on Thursday 24 September 2015 a report on the 2016/20 revenue and capital budget framework clearly shows that the budget is set to allow most of the 2,000 staff to go between April 2016 and April 2017.

Why then does the council’s directorate want to force the elected members’ hands to break one of their pledges?

Following the election of the current administration they made a pledge that they would not be officer led – has this pledge also gone?

The report clearly shows the staff savings in 2016/17 with higher staff savings planned for 2017/18.
It also shows a surplus of £10m next year and £32m in 2017/18. This is excluding the sum set aside as risk or headroom/ wriggle room as they call it.

If all the staff savings are brought forward to April 2016, as the myth would have you believe, this surplus in April next year would be £46m – free money for the council at the cost of your jobs and the services you provide.

We have two weeks to persuade the Labour and SNP Councillors that they are being sold a myth and that they are risking their political integrity by reneging on their ‘No Compulsory Redundancy’ pledge.

What pledge will go next?