146 Isle of Wight council staff ‘at risk’ after Government cuts

The council have entered a 30 day consultation with 146 members of staff after 82 posts were identified for potential redundancy.

County Hall:

This in from the council, in their own words. Ed


Following the setting of the council’s budget on 24 February, the Isle of Wight Council has now issued a formal HR1 notice, notifying the government and recognised unions of potential redundancies that may come forward as part of the budget savings identified.

82 posts have been identified for potential redundancy. 146 employees have, therefore, been identified as ‘at risk’.

30 day consultation
The council has now entered into a formal 30 day period of consultation with staff and recognised unions This will allow time for the proposals and impacts to be considered in more detail.

It will also provide staff the opportunity to offer suggestions or propose alternatives to generate the necessary savings; hopefully reducing the need for compulsory redundancies.

Where possible, staff will be offered alternative employment within the council, and applications for voluntary redundancy will be invited.

During the 30 day consultation period, affected services will continue as normal. Where service changes are being proposed, service users will also be consulted where necessary.

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said:

“This is a decision which has been reached with much regret, and which has been a consequence of the extreme financial position which the council faces over the coming 12 months and into the future.

“The council is offering a lot of support to colleagues who may be affected, but regrettably, it seems some jobs will be lost, although we will work hard to minimise the extent and effect of this.”

The timing of any proposed service changes will vary and service users will be consulted about any potential changes in advance.

Image: Simon Haytack under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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54 Comments on "146 Isle of Wight council staff ‘at risk’ after Government cuts"

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Rod Manley

The unions should organise a strike to save jobs.

Stephen

How does a strike save the jobs when the government money is not there to pay the staff in question.

A strike could just show that ‘IWC life totters on’ and just be an overture for the staffing cuts.

Matt

Where is Unite The Wight on this seeing that they have union funded events.

Matt

Correction : Unite The Isle of Wight.

Barbara Penman

Are any of the Councillors losing their jobs?

sam salt

And that remark just shows how much you know about local government and Councillors.

Stewart Blackmore

Councillors are elected; it is not their job and so the only people who can remove them are the electors in May 2017.

dave

And that won’t solve anything.

mywifesheelsare2high

Redundancies at Sandown Bay Academy low student numbers blamed.I expect A.E.T. wants more profit.The union reps are going to be busy.

Cicero
Maybe they want to cash in their acquisition (for free) of the unused Sandham Middle School judged as “surplus to requirement” by IWC education officers carefully turning a blind eye to the DfE’s report “National Pupil Projections – Future Trends in Pupil Numbers: July 2015 The Beeb comments “The population bulge which has put primary schools under pressure will start hitting secondary schools this year, according to… Read more »
Rod Manley
The unions have got to fight their own corner, it’s up to those outside to support them like Unite the Isle of Wight. Fighting redundancies usually happens when jobs are on the line. Terms and conditions have always been negotiated when redundancies are actually there.A strike at County Hall, if it was of any duration, would be devastating for services it was currently delivering. Unfortunately it will… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

@Rod Manley These redundancies are not an attempt to increase profits and dividents for shareholders. These are due to the fact that there is not enough money to pay for them. The unions understand this and have been working closely with the council.

How can the cuts not take place? Where does the missing £17 million come from to pay for these services?

Matt

Luisa Hillard, can you tell the people how the Council misled the public on the 2016 Budget Simulator removal of funding for school crossing patrols when the cut was from last year.

Matt

Is this what Jonathan Bacon is saying that it was a cut from last year’s Budget?

Rod Manley
Luisa, why don’t people like yourself get it into your head that labour is not a “cost”. The workers at the council are not inefficient, the fact is the services are being closed down because the grants are being taken away by the Government. The workers are the victims in all this political shenanigans. We know that there are good relations between workers and Councillors that is… Read more »
Cicero
RM “Luisa, why don’t people like yourself get it into your head that labour is not a “cost”. Review Engels “Theory of Communism (1847) “Labor is a commodity, like any other, and its price is therefore determined by exactly the same laws that apply to other commodities. In a regime of big industry or of free competition – as we shall see, the two come to the… Read more »
Rod Manley

Call it what you like Cic; labour is the inly thing that can produce wealth and add value over and above it’s cost.

…and you’ll probably find that amongst one of your Engels quotes.

Cicero
You probably meant to say Adam Smith, David Ricardo or the 1875 Gotha Programme. (later the SPD). :-)) Marx rebutted the Gotha Program’s suggestion that “Labor is the source of wealth and all culture,” Marx argued. “Labor is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much a source of use values (and it is surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labor, which… Read more »
Paleo

I didn’t know Engels was American. . .

Cicero

…. or Marx for that matter- was he the fourth brother “Bolshie Marx”? :-))

“Labour”

dave

Maybe services will not be affected too badly, which will only prove a point.

Stephen

> Dave Perhaps that comment has validity or not once the staffing establishment, after redundancies, is issued showing which departments have been cut.

One problem may be keeping sufficient staff in place to meet statutory obligations where deadlines are set by law.

dave

Having worked at the Council for some time, I can honestly say that some officers worked hard whereas some spent a good deal of their time phoning friends, having a smoking break, then a tea break and sorting out their nails. Sorry, but I speak from experience.

Rod Manley
What Marx referred to in Capital was that nature supplies limited value. When you say “as much” that is deceptive as Labour became the greatest source of “Surplus Value” or profit.In the real world of today what matters is what adds value to the commodity, the workers claim on the social product as wages and the monopoly capitalists claim on the product as profit. What are we… Read more »
Cicero
Rm “What is the justification for the cuts by the Academies such as at Sandown?” Capitalism encouraged by the Tory government that wants to channel more taxpayer’s money nto private pockets. Just check how many support staff have been dumped by Island academies, with their necessary work allegedly being farmed out to private companies linked to academic trusts. In this way, IWC pay support costs that then… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

And the reduction in number of pupils on the roll due to the new schools which have been established on the island, even though we already had surplus places.

sam salt
I feel very bad for the staff under consultation, it is a worrying and sad time for them and their families. We should not blame the IWC for this or Councillors but blame should be put at the doors of Westminster. (Both Conservative and Labour). Can On the Wight ask Mr Turner for a comment on the situation and what he is doing to support the IWC… Read more »
billy builder
Strike action would be very unlikely to improve the situation for either the employees under threat or the wider council workforce, as any strike action would certainly cost the IOW Council more money and would put more jobs and services at risk. At this juncture there are effectively two course of action, either to propose a method by which the council could make the savings necessary to… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

@Zzzzzz I agree with you that it will be a very sad time and something that staff have been going through on a yearly basis for about five years. The council is a family, literally, with many husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings. There will be a lot of Island families suffering from sleepless nights and worry about how they will get through this.

milly

I phoned the council to report the street lights not working, Nobody to do the job mate, phone next month and nobody will answer the phone was the reply.

Stewart Blackmore
This is something else that can be laid squarely at the door of our ineffectual MP, Andrew Turner and his Austerity-mad Tory government. While Tory slush money is being thrown at many other Tory held constituencies the South, the Island gets nothing. Why? Because Andrew Turner is ignored in government EVEN if he was shouting for the Island’s cause (which, of course, he isn’t). These are real… Read more »
Cicero
Stewart- maybe you should review Hilary Benn’s letter to local authority leaders (Aug 2014). He writes: “Labour is committed to balance the books in the next parliament so budgets will be extremely tight. We will need to make big reforms without big spending. And as we will inherit, and stick to, the Government’s spending plans for 2015/16, we will not have any more money to give to… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

A letter that pre-dates the change of leadership in the Labour party.

billy builder

There are two opposing sayings ‘you have to speculate to accumulate’ and ‘save the pennies and the pounds save themselves’. Neither of these are wholly true and neither wholly false. You need sensible balance.

Cicero
So are you saying that Labour policy has changed regarding expenditure on local government? However I note that Corbyn, while referring to the Hilary Benn research, missed two opportunities to promise extra money for local government from a future Labour government. Firstly in his letter to local government authorities “A new settlement for local government” – in September 2015 -(with the logo “Straight Talking, Honest Politics”) Secondly,… Read more »
Matt

GL,now you know why people voted for or backed anti-austerity candidates/parties.

Stewart Blackmore
Cicero, I had the pleasure to meet Hilary Benn before the election and, while it is true that he made that commitment, he also gave assurances to Conference that a Labour government would ensure REAL devolution to local authorities which would have meant a true redistribution of business rates. What this government is giving us has nothing to do with devolution and everything to do with moving… Read more »
Cicero

IMO Hilary Benn is one of the future leaders of the Labour party I respected his father’s honesty. Maybe at some time not too distant we might see PMQ with Benn on one side and Ress-Mogg on the other?

The Sciolist

So local island businesses will just cough up enough cash to bail out local authorities? In our case, £27 million next year?

Yeah, sure they can afford this. Some people live in their own little fairlyland dream world. Labour will not be a credible alternative to the Conservative’s as long as such nonsensical thinking prevails.

Chris

Even if there was no more money from government, at least the arbitrary cap on council tax could be removed.

ThomasC

Great idea – that would obviously improve things – allowing the local council to tax a low income area with no restrictions when the reason it has a budgetary shortfall is because it’s a low income area.

Paleo

I seem to recall that sort of funding model is known as the Magic Roundabout . . .

Cicero

Ofsted’s letter to the CEO of AET (28 Jan 2016) makes interesting reading.***

Given its good leadership over the last 18 months Sandown Bay Academy has improved its educational standards substantially. It would be a shame if it deteriorated again as a result of AET’s priorities.

***www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/497640/AET_outcome_letter_November_2015_inspection.pdf

Albert Street
If there are to be redundancies I sincerely hope that it is applied across every tier starting at the top working down. I assume that consultations would look at all alternatives like a pay cuts across all salaried personnel and consideration given to a pension break. Added to this consider the hidden social and other costs of redundancies. The supply of services continues to rise and is… Read more »
Morris Barton O.B.E.
The cuts in council services and the redundancies on the Isle of Wight are clearly as a result of The ideological policies of the free market Conservative Government and also sadly the adoption of the austerity programme by the Coalition and the Shadow Cabinet The Lansley reorganisation of the NHS wasted billions, the failure of successive governments to reign in the bankers and city gamblers and their… Read more »
the shadow
when you were a councilor many moons ago i was on the cat coming into ryde you where with a few others and was talking about the European office and how much it cost for very little out off it expect that bags off duty free ! travel paid for so samrt fox barton o.b.e by the people off the isle of wight DONT FORGET THE LARGE… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

Morris. The Coalition – of which your LibDems were a guilty accomplice. And the Shadow Cabinet to which you refer was the one before September 2015, after which Labour commenced the rising of the ‘socialist phoenix’ you hoped would arise in the years after your departure from Labour. Remember, I have the letter :)

Morris Barton

Geoff I respect your view as a Corbyn man and an activist politician but any attempt to identify or remind me of political comments I might have made 40 years ago mystify me

I have always promoted and defended the public sector

Nowadays I have a quiet life observing from the sidelines the games people play

Enjoying my retirement but always concerned about the Island I love

beacher
And this is why the public are generally fed up with ‘politicians’. Not one helpful suggestion of how we get out of this mess…just finger pointing and blaming their political opponents for the mess. Now if all the ‘politicians’ got together and worked on a united front to support the people of the Island to say to the government that we are being treated unfairly…..then that would… Read more »
Richard

Beachers

I have to agree, to much time wasted on personnel insults rather than just getting on with it, in many jobs of the real world they would probably be the ones being made redundant..or sacked!!

Rod Manley

Stewart, I wouldn’t say Turner was ineffectual he is an austerity man who has just managed to snatch the anti-austerity movement run by UTIOW from under their noses. Very astute I would say!

By the way, Tony Benn’s son is not a Corbynite, he is a good old fashioned Ramsey MacDonald warmonger.His “own man” so to speak.

Hazel Wyld
according to the local paper all staff at Westminster House being made redundant, so if as they say no plans to close are the residents going to self cater…they must think we are all idiots! Guess who ever in power at council level will always see the most vulnerablr as easy targets, they are unlikely to vote….why or why are the cuts being made at the bottom… Read more »
Rod Manley
Council workers didn’t defend their jobs last time and maybe they won;t this time. The numbers are going to go down…and down…and down. They will come again and again. If you cut pay to “protect jobs” Metcalfe will say, thanks very much and then he will come again and cut you. He won’t mind his huge salary will be protected.The only job he does today is cut.… Read more »
Cicero
Osborne bleats “Wasn’t my fault Miss, it was the others made me do it!” (Beeb) Chancellor George Osborne has warned the country has to “act now rather than pay later” ahead of this week’s Budget. Writing in the Sun on Sunday, Mr Osborne says he will have to make new cuts to public spending “so the country lives within its means”. The world was “facing its most… Read more »
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