Council spend £4.3 on agency staff every year

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A former Mayor has highlighted the dedication of agency staff in Council departments.

DUP councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan was speaking last Tuesday night, as members discussed the creation of a new tender with an employment agency for staff.

Members were told that under the current contract, £4.3 million is spent each year on agency staff, and that there are around 150 full time staff supplied through the current contract on a daily basis in Council.

Cllr Knight McQuillan highlighted the case of one worker, who she said had been working for Council, through an agency, for eight years.

“We are losing good staff, “ she said. “I know this person was very capable of the job, but they moved on to other employment because they felt there was no hope of them getting through the selection process. These are dedicated, hard working staff and I feel that their agency position is being abused,” she said.

Sinn Fein cllr Cara McShane agreed, highlighting a similar situation in the former Moyle Council.

Responding, Chief Executive, David Jackson told members that agency staff were ‘some of best workers’ in Council. He admitted that agency staff were a ‘major cost’ to Council, but said he was ‘reluctant’ to move into appointing full time staff. He said that he wouldn’t want to employ staff to have to let them go in 18 months time, at a further cost to Council. A recommendation to draft a tender document was agreed by members