Argyll and Bute Council to seek voluntary redundancies

Argyll and Bute Council is to invite most of its employees to express an interest in taking voluntary redundancy.
Argyll and Bute Council is to invite most of its employees to express an interest in taking voluntary redundancy.

Argyll and Bute Council is to write to almost all its staff inviting them to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.

The only exceptions will be social care staff who are registered with the Scottish Social Services Council, and schoolteachers.

The move is part of the authority’s bid to slash spending by between £15.7 million and £18.4 million over the next two years.

The council’s policy and resources committee endorsed the plan at a meeting in Lochgilphead this week

A report by Douglas Hendry, the authority’s executive director of community services, makes no mention of the number of voluntary redundancies which might be required to help bridge the council’s budget gap.

Mr Hendry’s report does say: “It is anticipated that the council will require to reduce its budget by between £21.7m - £26.0m over five years with a an anticipated reduction in the next two years of between £15.7 and £18.4m

“Inevitably jobs will be affected and given the council’s redundancy policy gives a commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies as far as possible, it is

recommended that a letter is sent to council employees asking them to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.”

A similar exercise in 2010 got more than nine hundred responses.

Mr Hendry’s report continues: “It will again be emphasised to employees that an expression of interest will not guarantee being allowed to go.

“In order to reduce as much as possible speculative interest and additional workload, employees will be advised that their expression of interest will be viewed as being serious in terms of accepting a voluntary redundancy package, should the council be able to offer one.”