Hundreds of council jobs set to go

By Emily Pearce

Monday, January 13, 2014

 

AT LEAST 360 more jobs look set to go at the Isle of Wight Council over the next three years as the authority faces the reality of the budget crisis.

A statutory HR1 notice, informing staff of proposed redundancies, has been issued today (Monday).

It proposes 80 jobs are cut during the 2014/15 financial year, 160 the following year and 120 the year after that, predominantly back office and discretionary services' posts, as the council looks to save £28m over the same period.

Around 50 posts in the economy and environment directorate, understood to include school crossing patrols and those who work in parking, leisure and property services, will be the first to go.

The first dismissal notices are due to be issued from February 27 — the day after a crunch budget-setting meeting at County Hall.

According to a letter to staff, issued with the HR1 notice: "This sets out the council's proposals for the fundamental review of council services required to realign its available resources and to secure a sustainable financial future that allows us to live within our means. It is an unfortunate reality that this will result in a significant reduction in the overall staffing establishment to meet the scale of savings required."

Further HR1 notices could be issued as further savings proposals are developed, it warns.

Unison branch secretary Mark Chiverton, who last month warned there could be as many as 300 compulsory redundancies over the next three years, said the sheer scale of job losses was worse than anyone had feared.

"The impact, particularly in 2015/16, will be absolutely devastating. People have been expecting this but I think staff will be deeply shocked by the sheer scale and speed of the job cuts, it 's a staggering number." he said.

"It's imperative we continue to have an ongoing dialogue with members and managers, and we will be discussing over the next few weeks how we can minimise compulsory redundancies. We will try to mitigate the impact of this, and I think there are some instances where jobs can be transferred to other organisations — such as school crossing patrols being taken on by schools.

"The council has spoken about 're-engineering' services, but this is taking place against a background of massive cuts. We can't avoid the stark reality of the situation. We will be encouraging the council and MP to press our case with central government, to make it clear how heavily the Isle of Wight relies on its public services."

Unison is due to hold a meeting for members next week, added Mr Chiverton. It would also host a public meeting to discuss the impact of £28m worth of cuts on jobs and services, and the long-term implications for the Isle of Wight.

A consultation with staff and unions will run from today to February 21, in a bid to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies. Options include offering staff voluntary redundancy , early retirement, reduced hours or job sharing.

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Displaying the last 10 of 44 comments - Show All Comments

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by roger mazillius

15th January 2014, at 15:58:27

Thanks Mike. That can help!

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by Mike Crowe

15th January 2014, at 09:01:00

Alan. Career change. It doesn't kill you.

ALL, repeat ALL of my family have had or made career changes and we are always in work.

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by alan naylor

14th January 2014, at 23:29:06

Mr Mazillius I have just perused the job situation on the island please explain where the majority are going to find alterate jobs on the island its a simple question to what i call a SIMPLE statement with no substance

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by Roe driver

14th January 2014, at 18:07:38

and still we invest in china

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by david wright

14th January 2014, at 16:26:36

......... run out!

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by david wright

14th January 2014, at 16:26:17

Until the UK stops imports of all manufactured goods there will be no work in this country. We are all guilty. If you see washing machine A made in UK for £400 and washing machine B Made in EU or anywhere outside the UK and its £250 we buy that and so ultimately the UK washing machine factory is closed. UK Government has to make the decision to halt the products of cheap labour putting all of us out of a job.This applies across all levels of manufacture. Other wise what future do we have? 50 years ago this country made everything and exported to the world, in 2014 what do we have left? I can name many household names that have not gone out of fashion or been commercially unsucesful but the factory closed and moved abroad. Ford Transits in Southampton, Dyson who made so much of its British heritage all moved abroad for cheaper staff. Our employment future is in crisis and the problems are here now. If not dealt with ultimately it will end in anarchy when welfare benefits run o

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by roger mazillius

14th January 2014, at 16:11:07

It is really unfair to criticise IWC staff en bloc as some have on this thread. As with any large group of employees, there are those who are brilliant, good, fair and poor.
Having experienced 15 years as an elected Member at County Hall, my over-whelming experience of the staff was a very positive one. To many it was a job they excelled in, worked hard at and were worth every penny they were paid.
Many departments regularly received praise and thanks from Island residents and in some cases won awards at national level. Some working practices went on to become national local government benchmarks.
It is so easy to criticise or even abuse people these days through the electronic media (just imagine how easy it is for those who post such abuse anonymously elsewhere and doubtless think they are so clever).
Whilst I am sure many redundant staff will find new employment or take the opportunity to retire, spare some thoughts for those who will struggle.

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by alan naylor

13th January 2014, at 23:15:40

You all need a bridge folks if you d ont grow you die

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by Mike Crowe

13th January 2014, at 23:06:30

Well Steve if that thought makes you happy, so be it, I will leave it with you.

So glad you are content with your thoughts

:-)

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by Steve Smith

13th January 2014, at 22:43:59

14 years in the Civil Service is not going to get you much of a pension therefore just more trolling from the usual suspects making out they know what they are talking about when in fact they don't know Jack!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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