Dorset Council staff warned of redundancy over mergers

Dorset County Hall Image copyright Google
Image caption Employees affected work in five departments, including human resources and finance

Hundreds of council workers have been warned they could face redundancy as a result of Dorset's local authority mergers.

Dorset Council has written to 561 members of staff as it attempts to "remove duplication" after the county's nine authorities became two in April.

The council said the cuts, equivalent to 93 full-time posts, would save £3m and help protect services.

Unison said the letters would bring "a great deal of uncertainty" to members.

The newly-created Dorset Council replaces the former Dorset County, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset councils.

Chief executive Matt Prosser, said 561 full-time and part-time staff in five departments, including human resources, finance and IT, had received the letters.

'Challenging time'

Of the equivalent of 93 full-time posts, 64 are already vacant, Mr Prosser said.

A 45-day consultation is under way.

"We have worked closely with our trade unions on this process to date and will continue to work with them and our workforce, to support them at what is a challenging time," said Mr Prosser.

Amanda Brown, Unison's Dorset branch secretary, said: "We will be working hard to ensure the proposals are fit for purpose and, where possible, we can deal with job losses via voluntary redundancies rather than compulsory ones.

"This is the last part of a process to combine six councils and our intention is to give as much support as we can to employees through this change."

Dorset Council said the merger would save £5.5m overall this financial year and £10m in a full financial year.

Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch councils also merged as part of the county-wide restructure.

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