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Thousands of jobs to go at Scotland’s two biggest councils

Thousands of jobs are to go at the two largest councils in Scotland as they deal with massive budget cuts.

Edinburgh Council is to “transform its organisational structure” to become more efficient and help make £107m of savings over the next five years. The restructure is expected to lead to a reduction of 946 management roles at the authority.

Glasgow Council has announced its own plans to deal with a 7% (£103m) reduction in its budget. The authority estimates that 3,000 staff will leave naturally in the next two financial years and they will not be replaced.

The council says it is committed to a policy of no compulsory redundancies.

Cllr Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The pressures that will be coming in the next two years go beyond anything we've had to deal with before. This will come from cuts to our grant, along with other unavoidable cost pressures such as wage inflation and the introduction of domestic food waste collection.

"Dealing with this may well involve difficult decisions, but I am not prepared to consider cutting services unless far greater savings are made from operating the organisation more efficiently.”

The latest proposals from Edinburgh Council recommend developing revised terms of voluntary release, along with the creation of a new Career Transition Service to support staff affected by the changes as they move to new roles.

Also in the new proposals is a new minimum early release payment for staff on lower salaries. Employees will have the option to accept early release terms above the statutory requirements, taking into account the number of years’ service and whether they have immediate access to a pension.

If agreed by the full council on 25 June, the recommendations will be put to trade unions and staff.

Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, Cllr Alasdair Rankin, said: “Modernising and streamlining our processes will reduce the number of roles across the council. I appreciate that change on this scale can be unsettling for staff and it is vital that we make sure those affected are given support to explore their options for the future. Making sure that employees on lower pay scales are protected if they choose to accept voluntary redundancy is also a key priority.

“We will continue to engage and consult with staff and trade unions as these proposals are developed further.”

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