A COMMITMENT to increase the number of outdoor roads and local-services staff by up to 14 new recruits has been made by Cork County Council in their 2022 budget.
The commitment to increase the number of employees in the outdoor roads and local-services staff next year is based on the expectation of continuing grant aid and maintaining the council’s resource levels to roads funding.
The chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, said they are down on their outdoor staffing numbers because of the challenging recruitment environment.
“There is a commitment in the 2022 budget to increase our outdoor staff numbers,” Mr Lucey said.
“We are slightly below the 2019 level that we had an agreement on with our unions on how we operate our business. We are slightly below that by about nine to 10 staff, at this point in time. That is down to recruitment difficulties and the demand that is out there for employment.”
Mr Lucey said that recruiting more outdoor staff is an issue that is close to “all our hearts”.
“We are back out to the market at the moment, trying to recruit. Some municipal districts are okay, while some are still under, but there is a commitment to go beyond that by about another 12 or 13 staff numbers during 2022. It is an issue close to all our hearts. There is a strong commitment to that in the budget.
“It is not just about maintaining, but, hopefully, enhancing the services on the ground. The priority is to remedy that in the first instance, in particular in those MDs that are below our desired levels, and thereafter seek to increase the numbers.”
Lorraine Lynch, the council’s head of finance, said they hope to potentially recruit up to 14 people.
“We are not at the level we had agreed in 2019. We will look into increasing that figure by potentially 10 to 14 people.”