Staff at Calderdale Council are being offered the chance to take voluntary severance or voluntary early retirement to help the local authority balance its budget.
The offer has been made to eligible staff across all services, including centrally employed teachers, as the local authority aims to make savings of £40million by 2016/17, as agreed at the Annual Budget Council on 24 February 2014.
Letters with details of the relevant schemes are being sent to eligible staff over the next two weeks. Council staff who take early retirement will receive their pension on an unreduced basis.
Staff who are aged under 55 before 31 March 2015 may be considered for voluntary severance (VS) if they have been in local government for two or more years. Successful VS applicants will receive a lump sum payment when they leave the Council.
The local authority has also launched the Future Workforce Programme, to give staff the chance to match their skills to new roles if they would like to continue to work for the Council but would like to take their career in a different direction.
Future Council vacancies are now advertised through an internal jobs market. Staff register to join the programme, which then matches their skills, abilities, experience and knowledge to suitable Council vacancies. Potential candidates can then choose whether to be interviewed for the new role.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Use of Resources, Cllr Geraldine Carter said:
“The Council faces some significant financial challenges over the next few years. We have developed these two voluntary schemes, which for the first time we are making available to the majority of staff.
“During this period of change we also want to minimise the need for redundancies and make best use of the many strengths in our workforce. This means we will be supporting movement within the Council through our Future Workforce Programme, which is helping us to retain talent, but at the same time meet our saving requirements by removing 200 posts by 2016. We’re expecting the programme to provide a £600,000 saving in 2015/16 and £5.5m from 2016/17.”
Although the majority of staff are eligible to apply, there is no guarantee that every application will be accepted. The Council will keep the right balance of skills, abilities, experience and knowledge within the local authority so that it can continue to deliver its services to the residents of Calderdale.