Bosses drawing up plans for multi-million pound cuts at Dudley Council have said they need to improve communication with workers – as union chiefs said staff were in ‘limbo’ amid the uncertainty over their jobs.
The council announced last week it will have to make £32 million of extra savings over the next three years – taking the cuts up to £58m.
The savings are required because of a drop in government funding. The council had initially said up to 334 jobs would be lost, but now it is thought many more will go under a new budget which will need to be drawn up to bridge the funding gap.
Dudley Council’s cabinet members will discuss the extra savings at a meeting tomorrow night. In a report to the meeting, director of corporate resources Philip Tart said communication needed to be improved with staff over jobs losses.
Mr Tart said: “Further improvements need to be made in communicating during the consultation process to ensure as much as possible that employees feel supported and valued. This includes better information regarding the consultation process and more involvement at that stage with line managers to ensure they understand the decision making process.”
It follows the council axing 621 jobs over the past three years. A total of 77 of these were compulsory redundancies, while there have been 544 voluntary redundancies.
The job losses cost the council £13m in severance and pension costs.
Since April, 60 staff had left including three who were made redundant.
Unison branch secretary for Dudley, Steve Beardsmore, said: “People are saying they have had enough. People are demoralised and anxious.
“They are in a state of limbo because it is unclear what is going to happen at this stage.”
The council has already developed proposals to cut £270,000 from the budget for the maintenance of parks, open spaces and verges, and there will also be cutbacks in road and footpath maintenance.
An overhaul of children’s centres in the borough is also planned to save £272,000.