MORE than 830 county council workers have expressed an interest in voluntary redundancy as the authority looks to save £75million.
But even with 300 applications already approved by County Hall personnel chiefs, another 1,370 positions need to be scrapped before April 2018.
Trade unions have already expressed concerns that if enough volunteers cannot be found then the spectre of compulsory redunancies may arise.
And from the 830 expressions of interest in the latest voluntary severance scheme, only a proportion will be approved, based on the authority’s future staffing needs, councillors have been told.
County cabinet members endorsed a report in January which set out that £75million in salaries needed to be saved between April 2014 and 2018, which equates roughly to 2,500 posts.
Ian Young, deputy county secretary, said: “It is unlikely that all of these expressions of interest will be approved as a proportion will be refused based on business need where applicants have specific skills that the council will need to retain to deliver its future service offer.”
He also said in a report that the authority’s financial position ‘remains challenging’ and he has warned that the costs of voluntary redundancy could affect the council’s ability to invest in technology which may also generate efficiencies.
Councillors have heard that the statutory weekly maximum has now been raised from £450 to £464, during the process.
Unions have called for the settlements to be based on actual pay, rather than statutory maximums, and also raised concerns regarding redeployment opportunities and staff not being able to apply for re-employment with the council before three years has elapsed.