Compulsory redundancies at Limerick councils are unlikely

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A TOP council official has stressed there will be no compulsory redundancies when Limerick city and county councils are merged in 2014.

A TOP council official has stressed there will be no compulsory redundancies when Limerick city and county councils are merged in 2014.

County secretary Eugene Griffin - second in command to county manager Ned Gleeson - has moved to allay such fears stating that any job cuts will come from voluntary redundancies, and non-replacement of staff.

And his views have been backed up by the chairman of the implementation committee Denis Brosnan.

In recent weeks, Local Government Minister Phil Hogan told Mayor Jim Long that up to a quarter of the 1,300 staff in the two councils could face redundancy when the amalgamation happens.

This has led to fears at both County Hall and City Hall, where staff work in a variety of positions, from administrative clerical positions to maintenance and cleaning positions.

There are major fears that there could be an unsustainable reduction in services, with a senior city council source telling the Limerick Leader: “services will have to go.”

The implementation committee will sit for the first time during the opening week of September.

As well as Mr Brosnan, the city manager Tom Mackey, and the county manager Ned Gleeson, former South Tipperary manager Ned O’Connor, and Shannon Development CEO Dr Vincent Cunnane will form the committee.

The group has 14 terms of reference, including the appropriate action to make €15m in savings annually.

Asked about compulsory redundancies, Mr Brosnan said: “I don’t think there will be. It’s more a case of as people retire, their jobs will not be filled.”

Meanwhile, Mr Griffin added: “What we will have to do is look at the staff profiles, and there could be quite a number of people retiring out of the service in the next five years. So there could be a natural redundancy process that way. But there will be no compulsory redundancies, and this is an important message we need to get out there.”