Council staff benefits cuts to save Wolverhampton £1.5m

Cutting hours, removing sick pay and reducing expenses for council staff in Wolverhampton will save the authority £1.5million a year it has emerged.

Wolverhampton City Council workers gather for a meeting at the Civic Hall
Wolverhampton City Council workers gather for a meeting at the Civic Hall

The terms and conditions of all council staff are being changed as the cash-strapped local authority looks to claw back £123m.

A prominent opposition councillor called the saving a ‘drop in the ocean’.

Union bosses and finance chiefs are locked in talks in a bid to finalise the contract details, which are due to come into force from next April, affecting around 4,000 staff.

As previously revealed by council chief executive Simon Warren, contracts for staff will be reduced from 37 hours a week to 35 under the plans.

Staff won’t be paid for their first day off work sick, pay rises will be frozen and mileage for employees using their cars on council business could be cut from 45p to 25p.

However the initial proposal as put forward in the council's savings programme suggest these changes will only come into force for two years – from 2015 to 2017 – saving the council £5.7m.

Then in 2017 contracts would be changed back to their original terms and conditions, meaning the council would spend £3.8m in 2017/18 and £500,000 in 2018/19, making an overall saving of just £1.5m.

Tory councillor Wendy Thompson said she was concerned at the proposal.

“At the end of it all £1.5m in a revenue budget of something like £256m is just a drop in the ocean,” she said.

“The staff are being asked to do extra and it’s just not right.

“I’m not sure we’ll be getting the same quality of service in the future, which I find utterly deplorable.”

Around 2,000 are expected to lose their jobs as the council makes crippling cuts to its services.

Adrian Turner, branch secretary of the Wolverhampton Unison branch, said the union and the council were unlikely to agree terms on council contracts.

Of the two-year changes to contracts he added: “Two years is too years too long.

“Some of the things proposed are not acceptable and people earning less money is one of them.”

He said discussions were ongoing between now and the end of the year.

The terms and conditions savings proposals were announced in February, when staff were summoned to Wolverhampton Civic Hall to hear their fate.

Council spokesman Tim Clark stressed that the proposals were very much at the initial stage and nothing had been finalised.

“These proposals are subject to negotiation with the trade unions and that process is currently taking place,” he added.

“We can’t speculate on the level of savings that could be achieved before the results of those negotiations are known.”

Comments for: "Council staff benefits cuts to save Wolverhampton £1.5m"

middley

£1.5 mill a drop in the ocean ! I will have it off you if you don't want it ! I say WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, Where I worked there was no sick pay for the first three days and then just a percentage, frozen pay rises,, again we were placed on short time for months, which means if there was work we had work if not it was three days or four, without lay off pay, then followed by annual redundancy programmes, NUFF SAID !

oldrocker

What did you do Middley?

middley

Not sure if I mentioned the company name it would get printed, but it is a large steel tube company in Oldbury which is owned by ans Asian lord (yes in the house of lords) and worked on the shop floor, where the lucky one's where the people who was being made redundant because the one's left behind had to do the jobs of the one's gone for the same money. We also had to work with no heating during winter, may I add which have been the worst for years, curios why you ask, oldrocker

StJoe

Been there and done that. Worked in the public sector as well and that was a breeze. The public sector is the best one to work in long term no matter what heart breaking stories you hear (If any) This is bad in Wolverhampton though. No one wants anyone to lose their jobs, but if they had a more compitent council this might not be happening.

middley

Don't get me wrong StJoe, I am sorry for people who lose their jobs (the one's who want a job ) especially through someone else's mis management, and you tend to find the one's making the bad decisions don't get sacked, mater of fact they more than likely get a rise for reducing the cost's (peoples jobs) if they do get "moved on " it's like a government reshuffle, because they are crap at what they do . Mind you I have to say that in my 35 years working life I aint known many council jobs on offer so they can't be all that bad !

markie

I spent over 30 years working in the public sector and am aware of the downside, like lower pay compared to outside equivalent jobs ouside, the volume of unpaid overtime and the violence and aggression from some of the unreasonable public.

I also spent over 20 years working the private sector and have seen the problems of working in an insecure job with little or no extra benefits like sick pay or pensions.

I feel the public sector do have benefits that are, in this day and age, over generous., and that they should be reduced. I would not use my car for 25p a mile. though, but there is no compulsion there.

I cannot understand why they would return to the higher benefits after 2 years. The whole thing needs looking at again as a fresh start.

jamie.ball.5243

They could save some money if the mayor ditched his big luxury limo and chauffeur and bought a smart car !

Ricky Tee

Two weeks today if you want a change!! #itsourwolverhampton