Council’s top earners face the axe in funding crisis

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Top directors at East Dunbartonshire Council look likely to face the chop within the next couple of days.

The council is believed to be cutting its number of leading officials by 40 per cent and senior managers by two-thirds as part of its efforts to make multi-million pound savings.

Top posts likely to go include that of Education Director Gordon Currie whose salary on the council website is quoted as £87,486 and Director of Neighbourhood Services Grace Irvine is quoted as receiving £89,235.

The local authority needs to find savings of £10.9 million over the next year to balance its books.

Decisions on where the axe will fall will be made at a budget meeting of the council tomorrow (Thursday, March 17).

It is the area’s biggest employer with 3,700 jobs and concerns were also raised recently that key services could be privatised.

Changes to workforce terms and conditions, possibly involving switching school staff to term-time contracts are also aimed at saving millions.

Unison, Unite, the GMB and UCATT unions have been lobbying the council against compulsory redundancies.

The council has warned that unless its package of measures is accepted, it will no longer be able to deliver core frontline services.

The move comes a year after the Herald reported a number of the authority’s chief executives were awarded pay rises of around £15,000.

In response to the latest news, Gerry Cornes, Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council said: “The Council will meet on Thursday 17 March to agree its budget for 2016/17.

“The Council papers contain a number of budget reduction proposals which include reducing the number of Directors at the Council from five to three and regrouping our service areas into 11 functional groupings, reducing the third tier management team.

“The report emphasises that should the proposal be accepted, appropriate leadership and line management of services within those functional groupings will be ensured.

“All of the proposals in the Council papers will be considered on 17 March and Council will determine at that meeting how it will achieve the substantial savings required for the coming financial year”.