Green councillors have urged the city council to stand firm on its pledge of no compulsory redundancies as it wrestles with a £126 million savings target over the next 4 years.
In a blog party finance spokesperson Cllr Gavin Corbett argues that the case for abandoning the pledge, proposed at a meeting of the Council Finance Committee tomorrow (29 October), has not been made.
“The scale of cuts needed has become steadily more daunting over the last three years. But has it been established categorically and definitively that changes of that magnitude cannot be achieved without compulsory redundancies? Not in my view. This is from the report: “It is believed that workforce reductions of the size we need… are unlikely to be achieved without recourse to compulsory redundancies”. And “early indications suggest that… it will not be possible to achieve the necessary workforce reductions through voluntary measures alone”.
“Is that it? Is a firm pledge to the electorate to be ditched on the back of evidence as flimsy as that? Is the council to introduce the uncertainty of forced job loss without being absolutely convinced that there is no alternative?”
He goes on:
“So that is why I shall be proposing, at Finance Committee, that the Council sticks by its pledge to reject compulsory redundancies. If the Council is to lead the charge at UK and Scottish Governments to ensure that councils have the powers to raise adequate funding, I shall be first in line. If the council is to look at a whole range of packages to reduce pressure on the staffing budget I shall recognise that. And if the council is to learn lessons from other bodies which have opted to deal with workforce change without forced job losses then I’ll welcome that.
“But I won’t sign up to compulsory redundancies on such a weak evidence base.”
The Finance Committee meets at 10am on Thursday 29 October 2015.