At the next Policy & Resources committee the council will consider a jobs recovery plan for Inverclyde. The proposal is to invest £5.6m in an effort to create over 200 jobs using a range of employment models. Most of these jobs will be temporary which is less than ideal. However given that the council has a projected budget deficit of £10.5m over the next two years then this is probably unavoidable. It is expected that 60 of these jobs will be generated through a refresh programme. This will allow existing employees to retire early with no pension penalties and up to 3 added years pension benefits. The subsequent vacancies will create job opportunities for local people. It is important to state that this is not an early retirement scheme as such. The refresh programme necessitates early retirement in order to create vacancies. The plan is to identify employees who are of an age to access their pension – it’s not a redundancy scheme so there would be no benefit to employees under 50 – in jobs which are of a suitable entry level for local unemployed people. The target group will be up to council grade 5 although the majority of suitable posts will probably come from employees in grades 1, 2 and 3.
The branch have not yet had the opportunity to discuss the proposals. However there is no doubt that the scheme has merit and will provide significant job opportunities during the current climate which, from an employment perspective, is extremely unsettling. Moving forward there will be further discussions with UNISON and the other trade unions on the finer details of how the programme will be rolled out.