Sunday, 19 February 2012

Reading's budget and jobs

Much has been reported about Labour's proposed budget in Reading. One of our concerns around the budget was what it was going to do to jobs. The figure that has been reported is that there will be approximately 30 redundancies which in the whole scheme of things, and in relation to the size of the cuts, doesn't sound too bad. However, a little probing revealed the following to be the situation.

"The full time equivalent (fte) reductions across the Council are as follows:

29.98 fte reduction through the Voluntary Release Scheme
36.9 fte reduction through deletion of vacant posts or ‘natural wastage’
28.49 fte employees at risk of redundancy (as discussed, these individuals may well be redeployed to other posts in the Council before any redundancy notice is issued)"

So the actual figure for jobs and posts going or gone is closer to 100 (95.37 fte).

If you believe the Labour Party rhetoric this will have no impact on frontline services. Unfortunately for them their own staff consultation acknowledges that where they have cut back office staff this will put more work on to frontline staff reducing time with service users.

Labour locally are doing the bidding of the Tory-led government. No Council can escape this, but we think that through a small increase in council tax the damage can be limited, and the vulnerable protected.

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