A MERSEYSIDE council is aiming to avoid compulsory redundancies by continuing to offer an “enhanced” voluntary package to up to 700 staff who could lose their jobs..
Despite the “strong recommendation” of the chief executive for a massive reduction in payments, Wirral council’s leader Phil Davies pushed through the deal which unions agreed to.
Instead of the legal minimum which had been proposed, Wirral’s ruling cabinet agreed to offer those taking redundancy 1.8 times their salary, up to 54 weeks.
Chief executive Graham Burgess had told the meeting, held in Wallasey Town Hall’s civic hall due to the numbers attending, that talks with the department for communities and local government had indicated the council could use capital receipts to fund redundancies.
But he warned that this agreement is still not in writing.
The council faces a budget deficit of £39 million this year, plus another £38 million in one off costs and it is widely anticipated 500-700 staff will have to be made redundant.
But the council leader Phil Davies told the meeting he wanted to “avoid compulsory redundancies as far as possible” and his proposal – although less than was paid in the past – may now ensure enough staff volunteers to leave.
Hundreds of people were in the civic hall to hear Unison branch leader Joe Taylor thanking the leader of the council and saying he thought the improved proposal could “bring forward a number of volunteers”.
He said the improved offer “gives us some ground to move forward on”.
Afterwards Mr Taylor said that even less than an hour before the meeting he had believed the council would only offer its workers the statutory minimum in redundancy terms.
But Cllr Davies said the deal was “the right thing to do” and added: “We need well motivated staff to be a high performing council.”