£4m price-tag to pay off council staff in last five years

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COST cutting has led to hundreds of people being made redundant at the East Dunbartonshire Council – at a cost of nearly £4m.

Over the past five years 338 council employees have been paid off at a cost of £3,931,862.39 – more than £11,000 per redundancy.

The figures were confirmed by Ann Davie, the council’s head of customer relations and organisational development, responding to a request from the Herald.

The news follows claims that several council workers have recently been rehired just a short time after accepting ‘lucrative’ pay-offs.

One Herald reader said he was left angry after missing out on a job he believes had already been “promised” to a former council worker.

He said: “I went for the interview and thought I had done well – all of the questions were scenarios which I had dealt with during many years working with another local authority.

“It came as a bit of a shock when I got a telephone call the following day to inform me that I had been unsuccessful for the position.

“Later I was told the person who got the job had recently taken a redundancy package from the council.

“It looks like the job had already been filled.”

He added: “I was told to keep trying on the council’s website for any future jobs, but when you find a job that you like the first question you are asked is ‘are you an employee of East Dunbartonshire Council or have you ever been employed by them?’.

“If you select ‘no’ then you are informed that it’s only for employees or ex-employees of East Dunbartonshire Council!”

But the council’s Ann Davie insisted that all appointments were made on merit.

She said: “A number of employees have left the council in recent years as part of a multi-million pound savings programme.

“We can confirm that a total of three individuals have been re-employed by the council after having received a redundancy package.

“The council operates an open and fair recruitment process following a clearly defined policy, and we always give the best candidate the job.

“Council procedure also states that no employee who leaves on a redundancy package will be re-employed within a 12-month period and in all these cases, the gap was more than one year.”

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