Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Finance Committee

Plaid Cymru AM Janet Ryder warned that the balance of "skills, gender and ethnic origins" must be maintained at the assembly government following the recent request for voluntary redundancies.

She made the statement during the finance committee inquiry into assembly government staffing costs and numbers on 26 January 2011.

The running cost settlement for the assembly government is to be reduced by £42 million (12%) over the next three years and within that, delegated running costs will be reduced by 14%.

Trade Union Side representative Vince Howells confirmed that this was an important consideration for every Director General whilst assessing the applications for redundancy within departments.

According to his colleague Andrew Jones, they were looking for more senior staff to leave at this point and although impossible to predict uptake of redundancies, there are statistically more men in these roles.

Labour AM Brian Gibbons raised concerns that 10% of the work force were choosing to quit posts during the current financial climate.

This was no surprise to Vince Howells however as employees were seeing alternatives outside of government due to the civil service pay freezes and changes in pension schemes.

There have been two voluntary severance/exit schemes since August 2010 the second of which is just about to close.

The trade unions have been consulted on these measures and are supportive of schemes where employees have the opportunity to volunteer.

Their aim of the unions is to ensure delivery of quality policies and services for the people of Wales, without destroying the work-life balance of staff.

Read this in Welsh.

Finance Committee membership

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