Council bosses aim to trim more than £200k off wage bill

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Council bosses are looking to trim more than £200,000 off their wage bill by reviewing ‘terms and conditions’ of staff members.

Boston Borough Council says it needs to reduce staff costs as it aims to save £1,168,000 in total by 2017/18 in the face of Government cuts.

It estimates the staff review will save about 20 per cent of the funding gap.

The council has not revealed details of how it will save the cash and press and public will not be allowed into meetings where the plans are discussed because they are deemed ‘exempt business’.

Chief executive Richard Harbord said the changes would save services and jobs. He said: “We have a very small and committed workforce and none of us would like to be in this position, but we have to be realistic and it is inevitable that we find ourselves looking at terms and conditions and pay further, as other employers have also done.

“We wish to avoid making large-scale reductions to staffing numbers and the services that we currently provide. Changes to terms and conditions are part of a large programme to become more efficient and we will be looking to many more projects, not just pay, to help us achieve the necessary changes to deliver a balanced budget into the future.”

It is understood that the unions are not happy with the deal put forward to staff, who agreed a three-year pay freeze and cuts to some conditions in 2010.

Coun Paul Gleeson promised staff the plans will be properly looked at the corporate and community committee he chairs on October 1.

He added: “I do question whether taking £200,000 out of the economy at this stage is right.”

Staff have already helped come up with cost-cutting ideas and the authority has also taken steps such as sharing office space and resources with other councils to save cash.