Social workers at Manchester Council are being offered voluntary redundancy as part of the authority’s plans to cut 2,000 jobs across all departments.
All staff under 55 will be offered voluntary redundancy and those over 55 and belonging to the Local Government Pension Scheme will be offered early retirement.
A council statement said the cuts, which would amount to 17% of Manchester Council’s workforce, should take place “quickly”.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of the Labour-controlled authority, said: “The unfairness of the government’s financial grant settlement for Manchester, one of the five worst in the country, has been widely reported.
“We now have to find £110m in savings next year – £60m more than expected – because of front-loading and the re-distribution of money from Manchester to more affluent areas.”
A council spokesperson said that, although the voluntary redundancy and early retirement programmes were open to everyone, including social workers, essential services would not be left unstaffed.
“It is difficult to comment on how specific services will be affected until the voluntary redundancy period has been worked through,” he said, adding that each request would be judged on its own merits. The council has also introduced an initiative to help staff move to jobs in other parts of the council. The “M people scheme” will give people the chance to learn new skills to meet the council’s future needs.
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