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2013 Budget Savings

The GMB attended a meeting with Strategic Human Resources, at which a discussion was held regarding the Authorities targets for budget savings for 2013.

Below is a copy of an email we subsequently received confirming the measures that are currently under consideration.

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Dear Colleagues

Thanks for the positive conversation we had on Monday regarding pre-JCC and budget consultation matters.  Attached are a copy of the notes from the meeting.

We all recognise these are extremely challenging times where the decisions we are having to contemplate have consequences for everyone.  However we know the actions we have already taken and continue to take at the very earliest stage we can, does help to ultimately protect jobs in the Council and help us to minimise the need for redundancies.

This year after 3 years of pay freeze (4 years for Chief Officers) we agreed to re-instate the temporary 1.15% pay reduction we had in 2011/12.  We also all agreed to pay increments to our lowest 2 pay bands (A & B) last July and to end the increment freeze and recommence payments to eligible employees from April 2013.  We calculated the cost of re-introducing was £300K.  Trade Unions accepted that they would need to work with the Council to help offset this increased cost.  We have also been set a further target for 2013/14 by Elected Members to deliver an additional £300K.

We all hope and anticipate there will be a national pay award and there are also improvements to tax thresholds for lower paid as well as improvements regarding pensions in 2014 with the new scheme that should all be positive steps in the right direction.

We did promise to write following our meeting and set out the specific potential changes to Terms and Conditions that we had provisionally identified.  Out of the complete list of potential changes we have only sought to pick those that would bring us the required budgetary savings and also had a view to being equitable and fair.  We did recognise not all of these would be acceptable.  In the spirit of our preferred approach we would want to seek a Collective Agreement to apply changes from April rather than a longer and more adversarial approach.

We did say this was a ‘list’ and we would expect that some items would naturally not be palatable to Trade Unions, however the list of items we would want you to consider for agreement and then implementation from April 2013 are as follows:

Proposal Projected savings (£) Excludes school posts (No adjustment for Traded Services/Grant Funded or HRA)
Forgo the potential national 1% pay award £1.25m Saves the Council the ‘budgeted’ increase of 1% in the accounts for 2013/14
Loss of 3 days pay (1.15% pay reduction) £1.50m  
Reduce sick pay to 90% on any day when people are absent £400K Majority of workforce have no absence and therefore would be no impact on pay.
Only pay increments every 2 years £600K Affects almost 2000 people eligible for increments
Reduce future pay protection to 1 year £100K All current protections on 3 years would continue – Expect normally around 75 people each year)
Remove excess travel allowance £35K Currently paid to 150 people which would continue
Any 5 from 7 working (plan time working at weekends if worked as part of 5 days work) £680K 1400 people regularly work weekends as part of the normal working week
Remove time off in lieu for bank holiday working (but retain double time pay) £750K 1000 estimate affected – depends on those actually working)
Reduce working week by 1 or 2 hours £3.4m or £6.8m Pension impact until new Career Average scheme

 

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The GMB will be meeting with the Authority to discuss these options in more detail, however we feel that members  need to be made aware of the wide ranging measures that the Authority are considering at this time.

We will of course then organise a series of consultation meetings with you.

Posted: 24th January 2013

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