Manchester City Council has announced that it will cut 2,000 jobs, including IT, and insisted it will offer voluntary redundancy to all its staff.
The council said it had been hit “particularly badly” by the central government cuts, and needed to make £110 million of savings over the next year. It did not give a figure for how many IT jobs will go.
“The headline figure for the cuts has been given as 8.9 per cent, but in reality the scale of the cuts is 25 percent over the next two years,” the council said.
The council said it would maintain a commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies. “At the moment it is voluntary severance pay that has been offered to all staff across the council,” a spokesperson for the council said.
Council employees have until the end of March to decide whether or not to opt for early retirement, if over the age of 55 and members of the Local Government Pension Scheme, or voluntary redundancy if they are under the age of 55. .
The 2,000 posts represent around 17 per cent of the council’s entire workforce.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said that the £110 million in savings required was £60 million more than what the council had expected.
"The accelerated cuts mean we can no longer achieve the staffing reductions we have been forced into through natural turnover which is why we are proposing a time-limited offer of voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement,” he said.
The council said that the severance package being offered, subject to approval by the council’s executive next week, is likely to cost around £60 million – but generate an annual saving of £70 million.
Alongside the voluntary redundancy programme, Manchester City Council will be operating its “m people” process, which tries to redeploy staff to fill gaps created by people taking up the redundancy package.