More council job losses woe for South Yorkshire

Martin Kimber.
Martin Kimber.
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More public sector jobs are set to be lost in South Yorkshire – with council staff being invited to apply for voluntary redundancy.

Martin Kimber, chief executive at Rotherham Council, has sent out an open offer around the authority asking staff to apply.

The council is facing £20 million more cuts in each of the next two financial years, having already saved £50 million over the last two years.

Several hundred jobs have been axed at the council so far.

One worker said: “Everyone is getting fed up of this happening again and again.

“When are the job losses and cuts going to stop?”

Rotherham Council staff have been offered one-and-a-half weeks’ pay per year of service, up to a maximum of £30,000.

Mr Kimber said: “We have saved over £50m over the last two years but the current situation is such that we face the prospect of a £20m deficit next year, then a further £20m in 2015-16.

“There is no immediate end to the austerity. We simply cannot afford to spend what we do not have.”

Mr Kimber said consultation is taking place with trade unions representing staff on the council.

As well as job losses, he said the council was proposing ‘revising current terms and conditions of employment’ to save more money.

Mr Kimber revealed that, even with voluntary redundancies, compulsory job losses are also likely.

He said: “We want to offer an opportunity for employees to volunteer for redundancy.

“It must be stressed that it is becoming much harder to maintain this voluntary approach and we may in the near future have to look at enforced redundancies in some areas.”

Workers at the council have been given until November 30 to apply for voluntary redundancy.

It follows moves by neighbouring Sheffield Council to end staff incremental pay rises and alter pay scales to save several millions of pounds from next year’s budget.