Neath Port Talbot cuts mean compulsory redundancies might not be avoided
COUNCIL bosses in Neath Port Talbot have said it’s doubtful that compulsory redundancies will be avoided, ahead of a meeting about the budget.
In today's paper, we reported that the authority has to cut its budget by £17.3 million from April next year.
And with 60 per cent of its budget allocated to staff costs, they say a significant impact on the workforce is unavoidable.
But Unison spokesman Mark Fisher, Chairman of the Joint Trade Unions at the Council, said compulsory job losses would be an absolute last resort.
He said: "Working together, the Council and the Trade Unions are leaving no stone unturned to minimise the number of posts that will be lost as a consequence of these cuts.
"We are jointly committed to handling these issues as sensitively and professionally as possible with compulsory redundancies and outsourcing as an absolute last resort."
During the summer, the authority launched a trawl for early retirement or voluntary redundancy, saying up to 250 staff could go.
But a report due to go before council today says that some 120 to 150 staff of the 422 applications received will be able to exit.
Final decisions on applications are due to take place in November.
"The Council’s position is to avoid compulsory redundancies if at all possible,” says the report.
"But at the time of writing, the achievability of this remains very doubtful."
The budget shortfall for next year means the council’s estimated budget deficit over the period 2014 to 2018 has risen from £22.6m to £38.3m.