Eighteen jobs are being created at Wolverhampton City Council at a cost of around £1 million – as a voluntary redundancy scheme for workers was extended by more than a year.
Council bosses have approved continuing the voluntary redundancy programme launched in 2010 as they try to cope with £60m of cuts they have to make over five years.
But they are to spend between £950,000 and £1.025m on salaries for 18 staff as part of an overhaul of back office systems.
The jobs include various experts on fixed term contracts, including computer specialists and a “business change manager”.
The council is using an outdated mainframe computer and needs to update its finance, human resources, payroll and procurement functions as well as IT equipment.
Councillor Paul Sweet told a cabinet meeting: “We need a structure to ensure we are equipped to meet the challenges of the coming months.
“It’s critical we have the right personnel in post at the right time.”
On the plans to extend voluntary redundancy he added: “It’s a sensible process and it has the support of the trade unions.
“It’s a pragmatic approach to the challenges we face.”
Since November 2010, there have been 635 people who have been made redundant from the authority, including 450 workers who departed under the voluntary redundancy scheme.
But hundreds more could go with the cuts coming between now and 2018, although bosses have refused to say how many.
There have been 130 workers who have taken voluntary redundancy in the current financial year, leading to redundancy payouts of £1.1m.
Individual redundancy pay will be capped at one and a half times someone’s annual salary, regardless of their length of service.
It means that it some cases it is well over a year before the council feels the benefit of the saving from letting someone go.