Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Over 11,000 Jobs on the line for Salford Council

All 11,300 of Salford city council's workers have been offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy in response to today's news that the council is running at a £15 million deficit.

The news broke as Salford was forced to undertake a review of how much it pays its staff. Conservative opposition to the Labour council leaders have spoken out in the past about the number of staff employed being far too high, but were apparently ignored.

Iain Lindley, Conservative councillor for Walkden said:
"The Conservatives have repeatedly asked the Council to cut down on waste and provide value-for-money for local residents but Labour have continued on their spending splurge."

He added: "We warned the Council about the dangers of taking money from their precious reserves in order to cover budget deficits in previous years. These reserves are now at the minimum allowed level and there is no money in the bank to cover the current deficit."

All Councils have been required to implement a Pay and Grading Review in order to bring equality to the pay packets earned by men and women in the Council; recently both Bury and Stockport councils have attended to the changes.

In Salford, this measure has forced cuts in pay of between £50 and £4000 for nearly 900 workers, which is still only around 10%. The rest of Salford Council's staff will either remain on the same grade or their wages will actually increase.

A similar 'voluntary redundancy' scheme was announced by Trafford Council in 2003 after it emerged that the borough had overspent by £8m. However, staff numbers at the Manchester council have increased, not decreased since then.

It is unclear at this time whether Councillor John Merry will take voluntarily redundancy, or take a pay cut, in line with the proposals.

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