Council outdoor staff hit more by reccession, report reveals

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OUTDOOR staff have taken the biggest hit in cutbacks over four years, a look at new figures from Kildare County Council suggests.

The Council’s recently released annual report and financial statement (AFS) indicated that the Council let go or lost 15.9% of their outdoor staff in recent years.

In 2010, it had the whole time equivalent (wte) of 333 outdoor staff working in the county but by 2013, this had dropped to 280.

There was a 10.9% decrease in professional/technical staff from 163 to 145 while the number of clerical/administrative wte staff fell 5.8% from 342 to 323.

The number of retained firefighters fell from 77 to 69 people.

Overall the wte staff numbers fell from 930 (1,127 people) to 820 (1,011 people), a loss of 110 jobs.

Over that period, comparing 2010 and 2013 AFS’s, the Council’s salary and wages bill fell by €5.54m or 13.9% to €34.2m.

But total spending actually rose 1.2% from €138.9m to €140.7m

The analysis of spending shows that other elements of the payroll bill increased and decreased by much less. The pension/gratuity element rose by 38% to €5.3m, while other payroll costs rose 37% to €2.8m.

There was a 2% rise in agency costs (payment other bodies) over the four year to €19.2m and consultancy and professional fees rose 24.8% to €2.46m, including a 7% rise between 2012 and 2013. These were for operational expenses. On the capital spending side it spent €5.19m in 2013 for consultancy/professional fees (down from €7m in 2012)but the capital accounts show that payments to contractors fell from €71.5m in 2012 to €46.8m in 2013.

The largest % rise between 2010-13 was in financial expenses, which jumped 122.7% from €8.2m to €18.3m. These fell to €5.9m in 2011 but rose to €18.1m in 2002.

The figures show a 36% drop in contract payment to €21m.

For those remaining behind salary rates appear stable with the average wage dropping by €1,015 (2%) to €41,803.

Despite a drop in staff, travelling and subsistence allowances on the operational expenses budget fell narrowly. Between 2010 and 2013, they dropped 1.2% from €1.25, to €1.23m.

Costs for elected members fell almost 31% to €146,495 after dropping to €80,457 in 2012. These are separate to the €242,000 reported as expenses last year in the Budget for 2014.




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