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District council chief warns jobs could be axed
WYRE Forest District Council workers are bracing themselves for another period of uncertainty as they were told their jobs would not be immune to cuts over the next two years.
Council chief executive Ian Miller said “whatever the final decision” on the 2014/17 budget there was “bound to be some impact on staffing.”
The authority currently has about 400 employees.
Mr Miller said: “One of our main costs is staff salary and any reduction in our expenditure is likely to lead to some reductions in staffing levels.”
He said it was too early to know how many jobs might be at risk.
Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC) councillor Liz Davies, added: “At the end of the day we know there will be an impact on staff – that is something we want to minimise.”
She added the council would favour options such as early retirement over compulsory redundancy.
Stuart Harrison, Wyre Forest regional organiser for the GMB union, which represents about 20 per cent of the council’s workforce, said: “We will be requesting formal meetings with the council so they can explain their restructuring process.
“All potential job losses or restructuring should be done through proper consultation with employees and trade unions.”
When asked by The Shuttle whether shrinking finances and staff numbers could eventually force the district council into operating as a unitary authority with other Worcestershire bodies, Mr Miller said: “No, not at all. If you look at the numbers, we need to get to under £11 million in terms of our total budget but that is still a big organisation.
“The Government has been very clear it is not their agenda and it is not an agenda this council is pushing.”
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