Public-sector staff to join dole queue in New Year


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Thousands of public-sector employees will share the fate of redundant private-sector staff in the New Year as part of Government savings.

According to reports in The Independent today, more than 5,000 public-sector staff could be made redundant after Christmas in Oldham, Derbyshire, Northumberland, Newcastle, Peterborough, Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Coventry, North Somerset, Worcester, Amber Valley, Swindon and Ealing. A further 2,000 jobs are set to go at Transport for London as well.

But Gillian Hibberd (pictured), corporate director of people and policy at Buckinghamshire County Council and vice president of the Public Sector People Managers' Association, said these are posts being lost and due to redeployment of staff, would not reflect the number of redundancies.

Speaking exclusively to HR she added: "We saw this coming because we have to make our organisations fit for purpose. We have to live within our means and hit Government efficiency targets. We simply don't have the funds to keep all these positions open.

"The public sector is not immune from the economic downturn. At Bucks we are making 43 redundancies after March, but it is important to remember these local council organisations, in some cases, employ 30,000 members of staff and putting it into context the number of redundant posts are not huge."

This news comes only days after 27,000 Woolworths employees learned they would face the new year without a job after the collapse of the high street retailer.

Commenting on 45 Unison members who lost their jobs at Amber Valley Borough Council on Friday, Charlie Carruth regional organiser at Unison, said: "For the council to blame the current credit crunch smacks of desperation, and is an insult to the staff facing a Christmas dole queue.

"I can guarantee the scale of job cuts will mean a steady decline in the range of services this council can provide to its electorate."

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