Impact on PSA posts significantly reduced to under 12 across Highland
21st May 2019
There will be minimal impact on PSA posts due to extensive work done to protect staff through the holding back over 50 vacant posts and identifying other opportunities within the council.
We have committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies. PSAs will be given priority to move into new and vacant posts and they will be offered one to one discussions with an HR advisor if they wish, as well as access to a career coach and a guaranteed interview for relevant any post arising.
Only 1% of PSA staff are required to move into new roles - far fewer than originally expected.
There are currently over 1100 PSA members of staff and the Council identified 63FTE posts to be reduced from after the summer holidays. Over 50 of these have been achieved through deleting posts that are presently vacant and will be vacant by the end of term.
There are around 11FTE PSA staff to be supported into alternative employment with the Council. Just under 10FTE are in South Highland and under 2FTE in the North Highland area.
There may be some changes across a few schools where the needs of pupils have changed and PSA support will follow that need, but this is part of the normal allocations process and is not affected by the need to reduce the number of PSA posts.
Teacher training to support inclusive education has been developed and will be rolled out first to those schools affected by reductions in staffing to meet the needs of pupils. This will include training across all staff groups in schools in communication, nurture, resilience and autism, to support a more inclusive education system with an emphasis on staff wellbeing to relieve stress and reduce absence.
Following discussions with parents, a proposal was agreed at the beginning of May (9th May) as part of the Change Programme Fund, to allocate resource for Parent and Pupil Advocacy to ensure inclusion of the parent voice in the ASN redesign.
Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said: "We have been working closely with staff, trade unions and interest groups as we are determined how best to meet the ASN allocation requirements. Now that we have reached our conclusion we will continue to work with affected staff in ensuring a smooth transition. We look forward to implementing our teacher training, as well as working alongside our parent and pupil advocates, once they are appointed, as work on the ASN redesign project progresses."
Highland Council's Trading Standards Team is urging consumers to check whether their tumble dryer is covered by a nation-wide product recall. Safety concerns affect a wide range of models and the manufacturer is offering a brand new machine at no cost to replace the problem items.
The Highland Council is supporting this year's Challenge Poverty Week, which runs from 7-13 October 2019. The Scotland-wide campaign led by the Poverty Alliance is designed to raise awareness that poverty exists in Scotland and restricts people's ability to take part in society.
The Highland Council has once again been alerted to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are cold calling and claiming that the resident is due a council tax refund or can have their Council Tax band reassessed upon payment of £150. Council Tax bands are determined by the Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer who is independent from the Highland Council.
Motorists are being advised that in the interests of public safety during the Loch Ness Marathon, River Ness 10k Race and River Ness 5k Fun Run charity events taking place this Sunday 6th October 2019, various roads temporary closures and restrictions will be in place. The Infirmary Bridge in Inverness will also be closed to pedestrians and cyclists on Sunday 6th October from 09:00 to 17:00.
The Highland Council has welcomed the announcement that it is to receive nearly £1.3m from the Scottish Crown Estate out of a total of £7.5m which was the net revenue from the marine assets in the 0-12 nautical mile zone for the year 2017-2018. Following the recent devolution of the management of the Crown Estate, this is the first year under these new arrangements which will enable coastal local authorities to fund coastal community benefit across the region.
Wickers are being given the chance to help transform their High Street into a more vibrant, accessible and a welcoming place for everyone to spend time in, as part of the Town Centre Regeneration. The Wick Street Design project is being delivered by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with The Highland Council, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and Local Councillors.
The Highland Council is taking the opportunity during Recycle Week 2019 to encourage Highland households and businesses to do their bit and remember to recycle as much as they can. Recycle Week (23- 29 September 2019) is the annual awareness week coordinated by Zero Waste Scotland, aiming to get everyone recycling more by raising awareness of the benefits and promoting easy ways to do more.
Consumer complaints about second-hand cars have topped the complaints "league table" in Scotland for many years. Common problems include mechanical issues, misdescribed cars and history.
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday (Thursday 5 September 2019) at the meeting of The Highland Council. Members approved a new Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places that will be in place for the next four years.
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO). Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.
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