The Labour-SNP Council administration has reiterated its commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies, but one consequence of that is a significant number of well-paid staff staying on the pay-roll for months without a job to do.
For the past nine months, 19 middle managers earning an average of not far short of £50,000 have had no jobs to do because their original roles no longer exist, but they sit in the so-called “redeployment pool” and still get paid if they turn up once a week for a short interview about new positions But their seniority is such that it’s not easy to find suitable alternatives because they cannot fill vacancies which would be inappropriate for their levels. The total bill for the council is £920,000 a year.
One has recently found a temporary post, but because they cannot be made redundant the others remain employees without jobs.
The Conservative group proposed a maximum of six months in the redeployment pool which would save the council an estimated £900,000 a year but as our budget amendment was not accepted this proposal went no further.
Losing your job, as I know from personal experience, can be a harrowing experience but a city like Edinburgh has plenty of opportunities for experienced people and these are not employees who have been suddenly cut adrift with untransferrable skills in a town with no opportunity. And the taxpayer should not be expected to foot the bill for endless golf or gardening leave because of a political decision.