Education hardest hit as hundreds leave their jobs with East Renfrewshire Council

Council leader Tony Buchanan is concerned by the numbers leaving.
Council leader Tony Buchanan is concerned by the numbers leaving.

Hundreds of public service staff have left their East Renfrewshire Council jobs in the last six months.

New figures revealed last week have shown that since May, 267 employees moved on from their roles.

Education was the hardest hit, with 175 staff members leaving, while health and social care, environmental services, and the chief executives department also suffered losses.

Council leader Tony Buchanan said that the numbers were high and admitted he was concerned about the number of people leaving.

He said: “It does give us a concern because it impacts on our future.

“There is a huge amount of pressure on staff at the present time.

“Austerity has brought with it many difficulties and the forced impact of austerity on many areas of the services we deliver has had a significant impact over the last few years.

“That’s the harsh reality of the environment we work in and yet our staff have continued to deliver.

“I’m pretty certain that many of the issues that staff have and the anecdotal evidence that comes to me is that some of the greatest pressures put on staff are by some members of this council.

“Some of the treatment and comments they receive and some of the issues raised on social media with regards to staff in our council are quite frankly appalling in many instances.”

Mr Buchanan revealed that 62 per cent of staff leavers were permanent workers while 38 per cent had temporary contracts.

He added that 12 employees had left through voluntary redundancy while three had taken early retirement in the last six months. Of those, only two were over the age of 60.

Conservative councillor Jim Swift claimed he had been made aware of staff members who were actively looking for jobs elsewhere because they didn’t like working at the council.

And he called on more work to be done to increase job satisfaction rates.

Mr Swift said: “There’s a heck of a lot of people who have left the council voluntarily.

“That would suggest to me that there’s a distinct lack of motivation or happiness out there.

“I’ve been talking to people at the council and a lot of people have said to me they can’t stand working here.

“People tell me that a lot of people are leaving this council to go to other councils, so it’s not a local government problem, it’s an East Renfrewshire Council problem.”