400 Jobs Could Go At Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth City Council's revealed it's likely to axe around 400 jobs this year as a result of Government cuts.

It was originally thought about 200 posts would go at the council. Other money-saving plans include possible pay cuts and charging staff for car parking.

A spokesperson from the council said:

“Councils across the country are facing significant budget cuts and Portsmouth City Council is no exception.  While there are still some government announcements to come, it is clear we can expect an overall reduction of just over 11% (£14,250,000) for next year (2011/12) and a further 5% the following year.

“These cuts will unfortunately force us to lose posts this year. We are working hard to find ways to make cuts with minimal impact on our customers, especially vulnerable people, and to protect employment in the city.  But providing efficient and effective services that meet the needs of the people of Portsmouth must come first.

“A council-wide review has been carried out to find ways of improving how well the organisation functions and we are working on making efficiencies across the council. Service reviews are still going on, but at the moment we're estimating something in the region of 400 posts may have to be lost. It will be for councillors to decide in February's budget meeting where those job losses will occur. Of course, because we have been operating a recruitment freeze, some of these posts are already vacant. We will do all we can to minimise the effect on staff, on the services we provide, and on employment in the city.

“The council’s employment committee met in late December and voted to start formal negotiations with the trades unions on a package of potential reductions to staff terms and conditions. This is being done now so any changes to terms and conditions could be made in time to have an effect on the 2012/13 budget and may help us to minimise future job losses and maintain services.”

The committee decided that it wished to pursue negotiations in the following areas:

-           no incremental progression

-           application of a £250 increase for all staff on salaries of £21,000 and below as suggested by the Chancellor in his emergency budget.

-           percentage pay reduction for staff

-           review redundancy payments

-           review overtime and flexitime

-           cancellation of some minor benefits

-           charging for car parking

-           review of market supplement payments scheme

-           development of a reward strategy, such as spot salaries rather than incremental scales

-           cutting sickness payments