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Redundancy update at council in York

York city council

12:20pm 2nd December 2011

City of York Council has reached agreement with the trade unions on key terms and conditions for council staff.

The negotiating committee, which is made up of management and trade union representatives, has been meeting to discuss changes to terms and conditions since December last year.  The main aim of these negotiations has been to find ways to avoid further compulsory redundancies and protect jobs and services at the council.

All parties involved in the negotiations recognise that difficult decisions have had to be made to get to an agreement. 

A summary of the proposals is as follows:

1. Putting in place specific measures to enhance job security over 12 months from the date of agreement, including:

a. Giving all staff who are at risk of redundancy a three-month period to seek redeployment into a suitable permanent post
b. Continuing to seek redeployment for any employees who are redeployed into a temporary role for the duration of their temporary role
c. Guaranteeing an employee's rights to redundancy payments at the end of a period of temporary redeployment.
d. Providing extended retraining to enable redeployees to become suitable for more opportunities.

2. To introduce one day of compulsory unpaid leave to be taken between the date of agreement and 31 March 2012, for the year ending 31 March 2012 only. This will apply to all staff except those employed by schools.

3. To remove free Park & Ride passes permanently for all staff with effect from 1 January 2012.

4. To reduce mileage rates (currently 52.2p per mile for the first 8,500 miles) to the level of HMRC rates (45p per mile) permanently.

5. To develop more salary-sacrifice schemes to help employees minimise the financial impact of these changes and benefit from tax savings on other living expenses, for example to help pay for Park & Ride travel, gym membership, car leasing, health screening and work related training.

6. To extend flexi-time to all services and make it much more flexible to fit in with specific service needs. This would apply to all staff except for those employed by schools.

7. Additional support to help lower paid staff, for example through workshops with the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

The revised terms and conditions are expected to save £250,000 this year, with £175,000 per annum thereafter.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, said:

"Like councils across the country, York is facing some really difficult budgetary decisions, including those around pay and conditions. The agreement that we have reached with the unions will bring the terms and conditions for staff at City of York Council inline with those of most other authorities, but we recognise that this will have a financial impact on staff.

"We will be working hard to mitigate the impact of the changes, particularly amongst the lower paid. However, the agreement will provide increased job security and redeployment to the majority of our workforce."

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