Council spent over 5m on agency staff

Thursday, 13 September 2018

CAUSEWAY Coast and Glens Council spent more than 5m on agency staff during 2016/17; the highest local authority spend in Northern Ireland.
After a watchdog report revealed that the council's agency staffing bill had risen from more than 4m the previous year and accounted for almost a quarter (23.1%) of the total staffing costs, unions voiced concern over the "alarming" figures. The council's overall staffing costs fell to more than 20m a year.
The local government auditor Pamela McCreedy also revealed that Council sickness rates are higher than the Northern Ireland average of nearly 15 days, with staff having taken off nearly 16 days sick leave in 2015/16, compared to just over 14 days in 2015/16.
Ms McCreedy said: "While I recognise that the use of agency staff may be necessary, particularly during a period of significant organisational change, their employment should deliver value for money.
“I intend to keep the cost of agency staffing under review and, if I consider it appropriate, may examine expenditure in this area in greater detail in future audit work."


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