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Redundancies cost council £100k

The OIC buildings at School Place, Kirkwall.

It has been revealed that the majority of a £108,621 sum that had to paid to the Orkney Islands Council pension fund as a result of voluntary severances, last year, came from the council’s education department.

This revelation follows news that the council has had to pump an extra £165,000 into its Support For Learning (SFL) budget, after the equivalent of 12 full-time support workers were made redundant in 2018 in order to make a £120,000 saving.

A report detailing voluntary severances through the past financial year was brought to the OIC pension fund sub-committee on Wednesday last week.

This showed that 12 OIC pension scheme members had been awarded voluntary severance between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019. Of those, nine were classed as early retirements.

This meant that “strain costs” amounting to £108,621 had to be paid from their departments of employment directly into the pension fund in order to recoup the cost of early retirement payments.

Asked how many of these employees came from the SFL service, an OIC spokeswoman confirmed that seven had worked for the education service, but could not disclose how many were specifically from the SFL or what portion of the money was attributable to their redundancy.

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