ALMOST a third of all city council staff retiring from work do so because of ill-health, costing the local authority millions of pounds.Just why do local council workers retire early at a rate that is fifteen times that in the private sector? Naturally, the trade unions have an answer:
An average of 30 per cent of retirements from the city council over the past seven years were on medical grounds compared to just two per cent in the private sector.
Union leaders claim the figures are a damning indictment of the pressures being put on workers because of understaffing.Utter rubbish. The "pressures" in the public sector bear no resemblance to those faced by private businesses. How many in the public sector have to worry about keeping customers satisfied every hour of every day, knowing that failure in this task means that you're out of a job? How many government accountants lie awake at night worrying whether they'll be able to meet the payroll next day? Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
It's nonsense for the unions to speak of "shortage of staff and resource problems" - Scotland's public sector is one of the most bloated in the western world.
We are told that we need "more rigorous (medical) examinations", "inquiries" and, wait for it, "health and safety and well-being strategies". No we don't. We need a huge clear out of staff employed by Edinburgh City Council. Anything useful that they do should be privatised.
It could be worse though. The national figure for council medical retirals is 55%!