Nearly 90 council staff resigned or made redundant in year councils merged
PUBLISHED: 16:19 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 21 August 2019
Nearly 90 staff resigned or were made redundant in the year Waveney District Council (WDC) and Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) merged into East Suffolk Council (ESC).
New figures show a total of 89 staff either resigned, were dismissed, made redundant, or signed a settlement agreement between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
The councils merged on April 1, 2019.
In total 110 staff left their position on the council in the same year for other reasons, such as taking early retirement or reaching the end of a fixed term contract.
In the last five years a total of 499 staff left WDC, SCDC and ESC.
Since 2014, 324 staff from the councils have resigned, 68 were made redundant, and 11 staff (all from WDC) were dismissed. A further 11 settlement agreements were signed, four of which were in the last year.
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According to a spokesperson from East Suffolk Council, their staff turnover is 'nothing unusual' and sits within the national average.
The spokesperson said: "Annual staff turnover during the past five years is around 16pc which is only a fraction over the national average of 15pc and can be considered a healthy figure, striking the balance between staff retention and the fresh impetus that new colleagues bring to an organisation."
They added: "Our predecessor councils, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, had already operated as a single workforce for some time and the creation of the new East Suffolk Council did not generate any redundancies."
But according to leader of East Suffolk Council's Labour group, Peter Byatt: "Questions need to be asked about the reasons for resignations. Were they stress or workload related? Or personal circumstances?
"In addition to the above, were any lessons learned about stress and workload issues as part of exit interviews and reports? Have there been any changes in practice where workload issues have been identified to avoid the same problems arising?"
However the council spokesperson said "the transition to the new organisation was very smooth" and was reflected in the most recent staff engagement survey, where 91pc of respondents said they were proud to work for ESC.
They added: "Meanwhile, sickness absence - another indicator of staff wellbeing and contentment - has reduced by 10pc in the past 12 months.
"However, we never take staff wellbeing for granted and we implement support programmes throughout an employee's time with the organisation including exit interviews which help us to understand why people leave."