IMPACT rejects call for grade VI abolition

11th January 2013

IMPACT has rejected a recommendation that the local authority senior staff officer (grade VI) grade be phased out over time. The union says the proposal – one of the recommendations in a recently-published management report on workforce planning in the local government sector – ignores the fact that the grade covers a very wide range of roles in different local authorities.

IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said the proposal reflected a “textbook approach” to workforce planning that bore no relation to the needs of local councils or the people they serve. “The roles of senior staff officers vary widely depending on the size and nature of the council they are working in. It makes no practical sense to simply sweep it away because human resource textbooks favour ‘flatter management structures’,” he said.

Eamonn also said the proposal would deliver no savings, and questioned its relevance at a time when local authority staff were saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of Euro through reforms and a 20% reduction in staffing.

The union welcomed calls for a relaxation of the Government’s recruitment moratorium to protect services provided by local authority outdoor staff and graduate grades. The report recommends a programme to recruit about 200 graduates to deal with a “generation gap” emerging in local authorities. “The obvious way to address a generation gap is to hire more young workers,” said Eamonn.

You can read the report, which was produced by the County and City Managers Association, HERE.