Union leaders claim stressed council staff in Aberdeen are working in a “pressure cooker” environment due to council cutbacks.
The number of instances involving council staff taking time off work for psychological reasons, including stress and depression, increased from 51 in December to 77 in February.
Unions and opposition councillors have blamed the controversial restructuring of the council to cut £125 million in five years.
The council has confirmed 370 posts will go through transfers and not recruiting for vacant roles as well as offering voluntary redundancies and early retirement.
But the authority has said in a report that the rising numbers of staff absence incidents was to be expected due to the dark nights and colder weather. Unison’s Kenny Luke said staff morale was at its lowest in the 26 years he had worked at the authority.
He said: “Over the last 12 months or so we’ve seen this atmosphere developing which has turned the council into a pressure cooker of overworked, underpaid, and under-valued staff whose mental health is suffering for it.”
Mike Middleton, pictured, of the GMB union said: “One of the things that keeps Aberdeen City Council going is staff goodwill and that is running short.”
Council officers told the authority’s staff governance committee that a range of measures were being undertaken with staff, including the offer of a support service and mental health risk assessments.