Union denounces restructuring of Southend council as 28 jobs threatened

A union says it is concerned about job losses following a Southend Council reshuffle which is expected to save £ 1million a year.

The council is in the process of rationalizing administrative teams in order to reduce costs in the face of declining government revenues.

Unison says 28 jobs will be lost and fears the remaining staff may be exposed to increased workloads.

Clair Wormald, Southend Branch Secretary for Unison, said: “Southend Council aims to save £ 1million per year by restructuring business support services across the organization. This affects 157 existing positions and threatens to cut 28 jobs.

“The project is to centralize the roles that are considered administrative, hoping to save money by cutting specialties.

“Unison supports members facing the uncertainty and threat of termination and will give everyone the individual representation they need. We also wonder about the impact of the proposals.

“Administrative and support tasks are not limited to archiving or shuffling paper: they are vital support for frontline services. ”

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Ms Wormald added: “Restructuring and cost savings are not a victimless crime! They can cost our members their livelihoods, but they also make it more difficult and stressful for the staff to provide the services our community needs. ”

Ian Gilbert, head of the council, said cuts in government funding left the council with no choice but to tighten its belt. He added: “Examining business support involves looking at a range of roles on the board. This work is well advanced and we understand that this work is difficult for those involved. Board policies are followed accordingly.

“We always target vacancies, interim arrangements, agency coverage and fixed-term contracts first, and everything will be done to avoid forced layoffs. We will ensure that any staff identified at risk as a result of the proposed staff restructurings can be redeployed if necessary. ”

“Continued cuts in central government funding, a shrunken tax base and the impact of Covid-19 mean that we continue to face significant challenges to build a financially sustainable future and continue to provide the services people need. . Therefore, we need to look at all areas of our budget to identify how we can deliver services even more efficiently, but also make tough choices. ”

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