To bring the Authority in line with much of the public sector across Wales, it has announced today a change of conditions from 4th May 2015 – after that time the Authority will no longer pay enhanced rates of pay to its staff for weekend working, as part of a series of measures to save a further £130,000 per year.
The National Park Authority is facing a time of unprecedented cuts resulting from a reduction in the National Park Grant of more than 13% over the two year period 2014/15 and 2015/16. Overall this requires the Authority to achieve savings of approximately £650, 000. On top of that during 2014 the Authority received an unexpected, extra in-year cut of £89,000.
The new terms and conditions for staff payments include the discontinuation of enhanced rates of pay for weekend working. During the consultation period the Authority received feedback from staff and as a result has decided to retain its existing extra payment for Bank Holiday working.
The new terms and conditions aim to save approximately £30,000 annually and will bring the Authority’s terms and conditions in line with other Local Authorities and Welsh National Park Authorities. The cuts won’t come into effect until 4th May 2015 and the Authority is offering individual staff affected by the change a one off lump sum payment as compensation for the withdrawal of the enhancements.
Mr John Cook, Chief Executive for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “The challenge of balancing this budget over the last two years has been one of the most difficult I personally have ever been involved with. We have had to make the kind of tough decisions none of us would ever choose to face, but with the pressure to find over £650,000 savings over two years and beyond, the Authority has had no choice but to reconsider the terms and conditions it offers to staff to mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies required.
“We have spent many weeks canvassing staff for their views and we have held a number of meetings with the Union and non-union representatives to ensure we have considered all the options available. We believe that the introduction of new terms and conditions is one of the options we can introduce to both to protect the services we offer and to reduce the potential for yet more job losses.”