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North-east trade union urges Aberdeenshire Council not to sacrifice jobs of unsung pandemic heroes to save money

Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.
Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.

A north-east trade union has urged Aberdeenshire councillors to reject any proposals to cut jobs as part of budget discussions today.

Aberdeenshire Unison has written to members of the local authority making a plea for better treatment of staff who have gone “above and beyond” during the pandemic.

The local authority released its budget proposals last week, outlining plans to save almost £24 million in the next financial year by undertaking a series of cost-cutting measures.

Job cuts and voluntary redundancies are due to make up around £4 million of that total.

Unison branch secretary, Inez Kirk, said efforts should be made to ensure workers do not bear the brunt.

She said: “Aberdeenshire staff have stepped up and gone above and beyond both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These staff have felt stressed and exhausted as a result of their work and their working conditions.

“They deserved to be thanked not only with words, but by their employer recognising their worth and paying them appropriately, not cutting their rights and pay.

”It cannot be acceptable that Aberdeenshire Council staff are working alongside NHS colleagues, delivering in partnership for the people of Aberdeenshire on vastly different rates of pay and conditions of service.”

The administration intends to save £3m through voluntary severance, while backfilling any vacancies.

A further £1m is hoped to be saved through cuts to workforce.

The council’s ruling administration is putting forward a level of savings roughly in line with that of previous years.

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