Property jobs to be axed by April

The council is to axe 16 property maintenance jobs, in a shakeup it says is in line with an established procedure.

The news is said to have been delivered to workers at an works canteen meeting, after which several dozen workers were said by one aggrieved employee to have been left unclear about their future.

No redundancies have been announced, but workers, including joiners and glaziers, are involved in individual talks with management.

The Herald has been told the cuts impact on trades including kitchen fitting, joinery and glazing, and that further job losses are thought likely.

The looming job losses come at the same time as a council strategy move to pursue cost savings through services sharing, arms length organisations or privatisation.

However customer services director Anne Davie said sub-contracting many elements of property maintenance has been standard practice for years.

She said the council would maintain a “core workforce” but would continue to use sub-contractors to allow for fluctuating demand.

Confirming 16 jobs are to be shed by April she said “rumours” about job losses were inaccurate and unsettling, and that they “come at a very sensitive time for our employees”.

She added the council has been “very successful” in shedding jobs through voluntary redundancy in the past.

Talks are said to have taken place with unions since the council decided to revamp its property maintenance service in June.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone is disgusted by the way the council has treated people.

“There’s no confidence in the ones carrying out the privatisation of council services, and obviously a lot of people are worried about their jobs.”

However Ann Davie said : “We are committed to further engagement on a one to basis with employees who may be affected by any changes, to discuss individual options moving forward.”