Council aims to cut wages bill

Mossley Mill. NT43-013FP
Mossley Mill. NT43-013FP

NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council has announced a voluntary severance scheme as a way of reducing future payroll costs.

The move follows consultation with elected members, staff and trade unions.

This has come about because like many other public sector organisations, the council is facing economic pressures and has been looking at ways to cut costs. The redundancies will result in savings of over £3m over a five year period.

Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Paula Bradley explained: “Employee costs are one of our highest areas of spend. The bottom line is that we need to make savings while maintaining service delivery levels. We have had to consider the most sensible options possible to reduce our costs and this has included reviewing staffing levels.”

Council Chief Executive, Jacqui Dixon, added: “We have initiated various internal reviews of our services to help us to plan the overall future and direction of the council.

“In doing this we have taken account of the current and future economic climate. There will be some changes to our staffing structure and there will be challenges ahead in continuing to deliver quality services which represent value for money for our customers.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the elected members, staff and trade unions for their co-operation in reaching these decisions and I am confident that this partnership approach will allow us to continue to plan for the challenges that lie ahead.”

64 staff have so far expressed an interest in the voluntary redundancy scheme, and 24 of those who applied have now been granted approval to leave.

The council has measures in place to provide advice and support for those who are leaving as they plan for a new future. And support and training is to be given to staff affected by structural changes.