WITHIN hours of Glasgow City Council outlining its massive job cuts, Scotland’s second-largest local authority, Edinburgh Council, also published details of how it will shed almost 1,000 jobs in a “transformation programme” to save £107 million.

The National revealed earlier this year that Edinburgh Council would be making deep cuts, especially in managerial posts, but yesterday saw the publication for the first time of the exact number of jobs and the managerial levels to be “salami sliced”, as trade union Unison has called the process.

The number of jobs to be lost is 946, most of which will be management level. The number of senior management posts will be slashed by up to 25 per cent in some areas of the council.

In the biggest change to the way the council is run, the five current departments will be scrapped and replaced by four neighbourhood partnerships or “localities”.

A report to next week’s full council meeting lays bare the extent of the possible crisis facing Edinburgh. It states that “growth in demand for services for young and older people where costs are greatest ... is placing an extra £10m pressure on the council every year.”

Inflation is adding £10m a year to council costs, while welfare and pension reform have reduced income or increased its costs.

The council will have to pay £10m more as a result of National Insurance changes while “the council’s combined level of income from Government Grant and council tax has fallen by almost 20 per cent in real terms since 2010/11.”

The transformation programme relies on several changes, the chief of which is that the council will deliver its services in four new localities in which closer working with partners such as NHS Lothian will be the norm.

Great emphasis on better services will be achieved through improved digital communications.

Like Glasgow, the council has a “no compulsory redundancy” policy, and in order to achieve the savings and the changes in organisation, there will be revised and enhanced terms of voluntary release.

In order to protect staff on lower pay, a new minimum early release payment has been proposed, and staff will have the option to accept early release terms above the statutory requirements, taking into account the number of years’ service and whether they have immediate access to a pension.

A new career transition service will be created in partnership with a specialist external provider to help identify any other opportunities that may exist within the council and offer expert guidance to help employees move to jobs outside of the council.

Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, Alasdair Rankin, said: “By simplifying the council’s structure we can focus more on local decision-making and respond more quickly and efficiently.

“Modernising and streamlining our processes will reduce the number of roles across the council.

“I appreciate that change on this scale can be unsettling for staff and it is vital that we make sure those affected are given support to explore their options for the future. Making sure that employees on lower pay scales are protected if they choose to accept voluntary redundancy is also a key priority.”

Dave Watson, national officer of Unison, criticised the council’s use of the word “roles” saying: “These are real jobs filled by real people.”

He added: “Sadly, this is exactly as we predicted. The cuts will be dumped on councils as the Scottish Government has given no indication of changing course.

“The strategy of salami slicing here, salami-slicing there, means they can say they are doing something, and the bill doesn’t come in until later, but the reality is that the services are gradually being whittled away.

“We have seen a whole series of Audit Scotland reports about services that are not being delivered.”