Staff exodus would benefit SBC coffers

IT will take Scottish Borders Council around 18 months to recoup the £782,000 it will cost to make early retirement or voluntary severance payments to 20 employees.

And that, according to a report going before today’s full council meeting, respresents “an attractive proposition” for the local authority.

Last year, SBC, in a bid to cut staffing costs across revamped departments, sought expressions of interest in early retirement from non-teaching personnel – those aged 50 or more who can access a pension – and voluntary severance from staff of all ages whose posts would not be declared redundant. The latter group would receive a compensation payment but not pensions.

Today’s report reveals that 20 of the original 79 applicants remained interested in going – nine from environment and infrastructure, five from education, five from resources and one from the chief executive’s department.

Acting human resources manager Clair Hepburn is recommending they should be be allowed to leave at a one-off costs of £782,809. The departures would give annual cost savings of just under £500,000.

None of the employees are named, but the report reveals that the highest paid, from the finance section of the resources department and on a salary of £60,000, will receive £49,000 in a severance payment, a £76,000 pension lump sum and an annual pension of more than £28,000.