Belfast Telegraph

Derry's Guildhall shake-up sees three council bosses facing axe

By Garett Hargan

Three senior officials from Derry City Council are facing redundancy as part of a local authority restructuring process.

Nipsa union representative Paddy Casey confirmed the notices had been served and further redundancies would follow.

He said: “I have handled the one-to-one consultations.

“This is just the first stage of redundancies. There will be more, maybe up to 10 — it will percolate down through.

“I cannot say whether alternative jobs have been offered, it is up to the council to find something and this is not always possible.

“I don't believe it is about saving money, it is about effecting organisational change.”

Derry City Council has stated that it is currently progressing a change management process which was approved by council in 2012.

A spokesman for the council said: “Derry City Council is preparing for the future through implementing a new management structure along with alignment of functions to improve service delivery for local ratepayers.

“Significant progress has been made with the appointment of strategic directors and heads of service positions.

“Consultation with staff directly affected by the change process are ongoing with full involvement of the trade union.”

The spokesman confirmed: “As a consequence of this restructure a number of management positions were confirmed at risk.

“All affected staff had the opportunity to apply and be considered for these new positions and as a result, a range of internal and external appointments were made.

“This has created internal promotional opportunities for nine members of staff.

“For those affected, a series of individual consultations have already taken place. Nipsa continue to be instrumental in this process and are in attendance at individual consultations.

“Derry City Council is not in a position to comment specifically on individual staff matters.”

The council said it did not wish to discuss individual staff matters, and made clear that they would support staff seeking alternative employment within the council, where possible.”

The spokesman added: “Speculation around scale of compulsory redundancy at Derry City Council is inaccurate with the option for redundancy only considered as a last resort.

“Throughout any formal notice period opportunities for alternative positions will still be considered for all affected staff, where appropriate.

“Derry City Council would like to reiterate that the purpose of the change management process is to improve service delivery, achieve efficiencies and respond to service needs for ratepayers and the city.”

Council staff held protests in March over the restructuring plans within the museum and Guildhall divisions.

At the time Nipsa confirmed that 30 people had been put on notice of redundancy.

Nipsa said it believes that this is just the “first phase of redundancies, with more likely to follow”.

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