RHS says £1.5m spend on restructuring will pay back in 2010

The RHS has spent £1.5m on its restructuring that involved 131 redundancies.

According to a written report from Employee Consultation Group chairman Andy McSeveney, the process, which began in June 2009, cost £1.5m.

The society cut 10.8% of staff costs after it was decided it needed to restructure "as part of a wider review of its resources to underpin its long-term plan for growth and counter the economic downturn".

RHS head of press Lynn Beddoe said the £1.5m figure "was slightly under what we had anticipated" and "will pay back within 2010". The society had a £3.1m annual surplus, according to its latest accounts.

The latest high-profile departure was company secretary Andrew Smith. David Farrington, who has a background in charity work, has taken the role.

Model vegetable gardener Richard White also left the organisation. "The people who have gone have a lot of expertise," he said, adding that he left because he "wouldn't sign a blank piece of paper."

White continued: "Terms and conditions had not been sorted out. The contract offered weekend and evening work but couldn't give any facts on how it would work. They weren't prepared to negotiate on terms and conditions — it was sign or go."

The RHS is looking for gardens managers for the Wisley glass, seed, fruit and trials and Wisley hardy ornamental departments. It also wants a fruit horticulturist, two glass horticulturists, two propagation horticulturists, two seed horticulturists, two trials horticulturists, a turf horticulturist, a plant records horticulturist, a woody horticulturist and an arboriculture horticulturist — all at Wisley.

It is also looking for seed, trials, fruit and arboriculture woody horticultural team leaders at Wisley.


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