Job cuts uncertainty for army barracks familiesBy Amy Taylor
January 24, 2013
“THE only certainty is uncertainty” for military families hit by the latest round of defence job cuts, army staff in Aldershot have said.
Notices were sent to army personnel on Tuesday, January 22 to advise them of the redundancy threat this summer.
Chris Fletcher, British Army spokesman for Aldershot, said the news had not come as a shock, but regardless of how much warning they had received, it was still difficult for families in already-trying situations.
“When it was first announced, it wasn’t received with any great sense of joy. It’s a hardship for the families who already face a certain degree of uncertainty, with relatives deployed overseas,” he said. “The only certainty is uncertainty. They always expect to move with their jobs, it’s all part and parcel of being a soldier.”
The cuts are the third in a series of four outlined by the government as it tries to reduce the number of army staff by 20,000 by 2020.
“We knew there would be four tranches of redundancies, and roughly 102,000 soldiers would be reduced to 82,000 between 2015 and 2020,” said Mr Fletcher. “In Aldershot the number is fluid, but I suspect we have around 3,000 to 4,000 at any one time, so it’s by far one of the main army towns.
“People were notified that they are in the bracket and eligible to be made redundant, dependent on their skills, their position and what stage they are at in their career.”
Those who received notices will now face a five-month wait to hear whether they will lose their job, but Mr Fletcher said they did not have specifics on which personnel or units would be affected.
The five-year redundancy programme is part of the MoD’s attempt to solve a £38 billion deficit in the defence budget. Redundancy notices for those affected in this latest round will be issued on June 18.
No personnel who are preparing for, serving on, or recovering from deployments on that date will lose their jobs unless they had already applied for redundancy, the MoD has confirmed, but they could be affected by the final round next year.
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