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Councillors approve SNP's no compulsory redundancies policy for Moray Council workforce as Conservatives slam 'ill-advised' decision

By Jonathan Clark

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COUNCILLORS in Moray have voted to adopt the SNP's no compulsory redundancies policy for Moray Council's workforce.

The SNP originally moved that the council should adopt the policy in June, but it was passed in private at a Moray Council meeting on October 25.

The no compulsory redundancies policy will mean the council cannot terminate an employee's contract due to business circumstances.

All SNP councillors voted in favour of the policy, with all Conservatives voting against it. The policy was approved by 13 votes to 12, with one abstention.

SNP councillor Jérémie Fernandes (Elgin City North, SNP) said the vote showed the Tories view council employees as "expendable".

A Conservative Group statement said the policy was "ill-advised" and would affect the council's finances in the long term.

Cllr Jérémie Fernandes, who initially proposed the policy, said: “Moray Council is one of the biggest employers in the region, so ensuring workers’ job safety is crucial to the local economy.

“This policy means 5000 employees and their families will not have to worry about being made redundant in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s a shame that Tory Councillors see employees, particularly those on a lower salary or a part-time contract, as expendable.”

The Conservative Group released a statement after the vote saying that the policy leaves Moray in a "very dangerous position".

“This ill-advised policy removes the options of compulsory redundancy from the much-needed service and management restructuring that is vital for the long term sustainability of the council itself," the statement read.

"Time after time councillors have been reminded that HR policies were already in place that made compulsory redundancy a measure of last resort and to remove that measure in its entirety compares to the ancient mariner shooting the albatross.

“Much is spoken about council reserves, or in other words rainy day money, the piggy bank kept for the direst of emergencies.

“To use that money to fund the day to day running of the council would leave Moray in a very dangerous position."

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