Highland Council proposes scheme to make workforce reductions
10th December 2016
Members of The Highland Council will be asked to approve a proposed scheme to make workforce reductions at the Council meeting on 15 December.
The Employee Early Release Scheme (EERS) is designed to make reductions in the council workforce in a way that is affordable and in line with the reductions in funding available for the 2017/18 budget. It is inevitable that a further significant reduction in budgets will require the Council to reduce the size of its workforce.
The Highland Council remains committed to minimising the requirement for compulsory redundancies wherever possible, and in order to achieve this, a number of measures have already been put in place including recruitment controls, reduced use of agency staff and a managed programme to reduce overtime.
All of these measures are intended to increase the pool of redeployment opportunities and to support a programme of redeployment and retraining which will be launched early in the new year.
Budget Leader, Cllr Bill Fernie said: "This scheme, together with a recruitment freeze and other measures, would allow the Council to reduce the number of staff whilst minimising the need for compulsory redundancies as much as possible. By freeing up some posts, there would be redeployment opportunities for some staff whose jobs may go under some of the budget proposals. Our current Voluntary Redundancy Scheme is not affordable within the current financial situation and this scheme may be attractive to a number of staff.
"Consultation is taking place with trade union representatives. The scheme would allow us to reduce the cost of any potential future redundancies and would help to save jobs and protect essential services."
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May. A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members.
Wipro has opened a new delivery centre in Inverness as part of our growth plan and service delivery for the Highland Council. 40 to 50 staff will be based at Moray House in the city centre.
The Highland Council has agreed all the recommendations made by the Redesign Board. The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.
On Thursday 9th March, the Council approved £1million additional capital monies to be spent on Highland roads. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046m for 2017/18 and members have agreed to allocate £1million of this to roads.
The Highland Council has agreed to extend funding to two CAB projects of up to £50,000. The Mental Health and Midwifery projects provide money and welfare advice to pregnant mums and those experiencing mental ill health.
The first of the central beams to connect the north and south side of the West Link bridge, Inverness were put in place today, 6 March 2017. The centre span beams are 70m in length and weight 70 tonnes each.
The Highland Council has won a national award for a project aimed at cutting the cost of heating Highland homes. The Scottish Energy Efficiency and Health Homes Award, presented during an award ceremony held in Glasgow, recognised the Council's work to assist with reducing energy use in Highland homes through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland - Area Based Scheme (HEEPS-ABS) and the particular drive to identify and assist homes that are in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cost of energy.
A paper going to the Council meeting on 9 March will propose a £1 million spend of additional capital monies on roads infrastructure. The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046 million for 2017/18 and a paper to council will ask members to consider whether to allocate £1 million of this to roads.
The Redesign Board met on 28 February to agree its recommendations on the redesign of the Council. The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.
People looking for shortcuts to their most used pages on Highland Council's website via their Smart phones can now use Emoji to take them there faster. Used in electronic messages and web pages, Emoji are used much like Emoticons and exist in various symbols including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.
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