It’s getting murkier and murkier at Stepping Up, Asher “The Slasher” Craig and the Reverend’s scheme to promote more black people into management at the council.
The council-run project, run by generously remunerated Christine “Wonky” Bamford, paid through a Byzantine tax efficient route involving a procurement firm and a recruitment agency, has been quietly outsourced since March 2022 to Stepping Up Leadership CIC. A new firm that conveniently shares an address with genuine council firm, Bristol Waste.
The new company has two directors, “Wonky” Bamford and Asher the Slasher. The Slasher, as a member of the cabinet, has, therefore, effectively outsourced a council service to her own company with zero democratic oversight.
Instead, Bristol City Council’s departed Chief Chump, Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson has personally signed off all the arrangements relating to Stepping Up for Slasher since the project’s inception.
Procurement information at the council reveals that Jacko has arranged no framework, no tender, and no competition for Stepping Up’s transfer out of the council “for technical reasons”. Instead, Jacko appears just to have let Slasher grab a council funded project and then procured its services back from her for a fee!
Since being called out on Twitter over the summer about this personal financial arrangement with council resources, the Slasher has, after calling her critics “Karens”, ceased any ‘significant control’ in the firm for now.
Even so, what a totally bent way for a council, its chief executive and a cabinet member to be carrying on with public assets.
Senior Unite bureaucrats on manoeuvres with workers’ sellout Slo’ Kev Slocombe as strike date looms over Rees’s bullying culture at City Hall
This just in from Unison Bristol:
Increased pressure on delivery for the Estates Management team (your housing officers) has been coming from the political level. Pressure, in turn, from tenants and associated tenants’ groups has led to a stressed-out team, run-ragged with extra work piled on an already impossible workload.
Impossible targets, a terrible consultation regime and staff not being believed has led to a ballot for strike action supported by both Unite and UNISON.
Yesterday, Unite with a big-wig from Unite head office met with Kevin Slocombe (from the mayor’s office). Management stated in writing that they were representing Unite only and didn’t want anyone else (ie, Unison) coming.
We have, up until this point, maintained a single-status approach when bargaining with the employer so if this alliance is only one-way we will abandon joint-working and go it alone with everything else in the council.
We have already made this decision about joint-working at Bristol Waste (subsequent to this announcement by Unite) but it will take a while to disentangle ourselves at Bristol City Council. Lay stewards from all unions work well together and it will take time and some getting used to.
In the meantime we are arranging a meeting with Kevin and management but without any big-wigs.
We were uneasy joining a meeting with union political officers and politicians – what has politics got to do with management stressing their staff out? – but there you go.
At the moment strike action is tabled for 21 October for both Unite and UNISON unless the members decide to accept whatever comes out of these meetings.
What happened to Bristol Waste managing director Tony “I Am The” Lawless and his sidekick, finance director Adam “Dumb” Henshaw? Why did both suddenly quit on July 18 and disappear without working their notice?
The story goes that last March the rubbish bosses got their business plan signed off and approved by council boss Stephen “Preening” Peacock and the Reverend Rees. That business plan was based on holding a pretty strong line on pay in order to keep another of the council’s struggling businesses solvent.
So, when the unions decided they needed a better pay rise they bypassed Bristol Waste altogether and went straight to the Reverend and his ex-union baron sideman “Slo” Kev Slocombe. The Reverend then instructed Bristol Waste (despite having no authority to do so) that they needed to make a better pay offer despite knowing full well they didn’t have the money. to pay for it.
Eventually Bristol Waste did make an improved offer. Not good enough to satisfy what the unions wanted but high enough to mean that it was double the amount of this year’s contract increase from the Reverend. Bristol Waste would now have to eat into their reserves and implement major cuts that formed no part of March’s business plan.
Soon after the pay hike announcement Lawless and Henshaw quit. Chris Holmes was quickly transferred over from Bristol Holding to take on the finance role, and a new interim MD was headhunted and appointed.
Last we heard Bristol Workplace (the recently outsourced cleaners and security from Bristol City Council) have already seen workloads substantially increased as the company attempts to deliver more for less.
This month the new management will be launching a public consultation. Designed to be as boring as possible, one of its objectives will be to test out ideas that sound like they will be better for the environment but, in reality, will also save BWC lots of money. The preferred option being to go to three week rubbish collections rather than the two weeks currently in operation.
General word is that the Reverend doesn’t much care what the company does as long it doesn’t go bust before the end of his term in May 2024
Will claims from councillors earlier this year that the real reason for the rush-job outsourcing of Bristol City Council cleaners and security staff to Bristol Waste was to address urgent cashflow issues at the stumbling council-owned company turn out to be accurate?
Last week came the bizarre announcement that Bristol Waste are suspending Green Waste collections for at least ten weeks. The reasons given for this decision were confusing to say the least. Oscilating between claims of a national shortage of skilled drivers and the alleged impact of Bristol Waste drivers self-isolating from Covid-19. We’re also fast learning that Bristol Waste is no longer able to guarantee collecting general waste and recycling on the day they are contracted to do so.
Now we hear that bailiffs acting on behalf of SITA visited the offices of Bristol Waste earlier this week to demand overdue payments for the clearance of waste from larger blocks of flats in Bristol. What on earth is going on?
Adding to this sense of a company and management spiralling out of control comes news that the struggling firm’s Finance Director Adam “Because I’m Worth It” Henshaw received a 50 per cent pay rise last year. Tidily uplifting Worth It’s pay packet from £73k in 2020 to £110k this year.
What was this enormous pay rise for and who authorised it? Is this a reward for failure? Or do Bristol Waste view their increasing inability to collect waste and pay their bills as a sign of management success?
Bristol Waste mainman, Managing Director, Tony ‘I Am The’ Lawless, had to rub along on a pay rise of just five per cent this year, which saw his pay packet exceed £125k for the first time. A rise rather more generous than he allowed his long-suffering staff.
Operations Director Jason “Fatty” Eldridge, meanwhile, trousered a cool seven per cent rise. Crashing his salary through that all-important six-figure barrier to £104k a year.
Bristol Energy-watchers may recall executive salaries there rose the more the company failed. Culminating in Managing Director Mark ‘Magic’ Majewicz pocketing an obscene compensation package of £306k while the company racked up huge losses in 2019 – 20.
A bizarre and disturbing case unfolds at the Employment Tribunal involving the Reverend Rees, Colin “Head Boy” Molton and the council’s HR senior management nutters – presumably taking some time off from being racist? – John “Bedwetter” Walsh and Mark “Bashar” Williams.
The case involves 122 detriments to a whistleblower at Bristol City Council and there’s even a walk-on part for the Bristolian’s evil twin Twitter account, the ungovernable @bristol_citizen.
From what we’ve learned so far and we’re promised much more from the union involved, IWW Bristol, it seems Bashar and Bedwetter cooked up a cunning plan back in 2018, with the help of the Reverend, to fire the notorious Markets whistleblower from 2012 (Bristolian passim).
This is a whistleblower against whom Bashar Williams has long conducted a dirty whispering campaign in the corridors of the Counts Louse. A campaign that’s attempted to blame the whistleblower for the council’s failure in their duty of care towards council Facilities Service Manager, Tony Harvey, who killed himself in 2013. Directly after Harvey’s crude efforts to cover-up a major financial scandal in his Markets Service with the help and support of Bashar Williams and many other senior bosses started to fall apart.
According to the Employment Tribunal, the whistleblower had made TWENTY-TWO allegations that ‘relate to financial matters and alleged fraud relating to the first respondent’s market licence fees’.
The vehicle selected by the Bashar and Bedwetter to carry out their dastardly attack plan on this whistleblower was the creation of a bespoke allegation that the worker had shared – with a Bristol Waste trade union rep – ‘confidential’ council information that, er, was in the public domain!.
Their plan was assisted by Rees who handed his HR bosses confidential Bristol Labour Party and trade union information directly from his personal Facebook account. An action that resulted in the closure in 2018 of the local Labour Campaign Forum private Facebook page for members when it became apparent that personal and political information on there was no longer secure and was being shared with bosses at Bristol City Council and any passing Toryboy consultant in a pinstripe suit.
To further ensure the success of their brilliant plan, the Bedwetter personally hired – at great expense to us – ‘Mr Greaves’. a self-styled expert consultant who also happened to be an old local authority jobbing interim mate of Bedwetter’s. Mr Geaves, our union sources tell us, was “basically a posh twat in pin stripe suit who was thick as shit”.
Within a week of suspending the worker, HR’s ramshackle disciplinary house of cards inevitably collapsed with the revelation that the alleged ‘confidential information’ wasn’t in the slightest bit confidential having been released by the council themselves months earlier.
The hapless HR management team, including a clown on a generous day rate paid by council taxpayers, then started scratching around for some new allegations to nail their man. TWELVE allegations were variously tabled and hastily withdrawn over the next SIX MONTHS. Even including a desperate claim that the worker was running the @bristol_citizen Twitter account!
The worker eventually took out a grievance, possibly for humanitarian reasons, to end this Human Resources car crash and to try and resolve the embarrassing symptoms of mental decay on open display from a pair of barking senior council HR directors intent on firing someone for no reason other than that the mayor had apparently told them to.
The council responded to the grievance by wheeling out their top gun – the second highest paid council boss in the country – Colin “Head Boy” Molton. Who, it appears, hired another expensive consultant to investigate the work of the first consultant.
The outcome of this investigation is shrouded in mystery as Head Boy scarpered from the scene of his crime very quickly never to be heard from again. In the process failing to do any of the things he had advised himself to do, in his own report, to sort out his senior HR colleagues’ sorry mess..
The next act of this very Bristol City Council farce played out at a bizarre disciplinary hearing chaired by our dear old friend “Lil” Tim O’Gara. He was hurriedly shunted in to oversee proceedings after Bedwetter discovered he wasn’t allowed to hire a posh twit; hand him a weird dossier of drivel off the internet compiled by Bashar Williams; feed his pet twit a load of completely mental evidence-free allegations about a member of council staff and then chair the subsequent hearing to judge the merits of his own deranged crap.
In fact, in a highly original and unprecedented move, no one from HR turned up at all at their own disciplinary hearing to present any kind of case against the member of staff they had suspended for eight months and had, ‘independently’ investigated at great expense. Could this by any chance be related to the fact that the Reverend and Head Boy Molton might have had to appear to explain what the fuck they had been up to if a proper hearing was held?
What if any of the big swinging dicks at the top of the council had said the wrong thing and accidentally implicated each other in their fast unravelling dimwitted conspiracy? Suddenly, with the risk of funny little wriggly appendages being exposed at the top, the hearing was a very quick case of ‘allegations unfounded’ – ‘case dismissed’.
We reckon the cost of this pointless little escapade in targeting a whistleblower trying to protect your money from bent council bosses – if you add up whopping payments to various consultants, the wages paid to the member of staff to sit at home for eight months and the staff time – could easily hit six figures.
What for? An expensive game for the pleasure of a pisspoor mayor? A Bashar Williams’ revenge fantasy acted out on a member of recalcitrant staff? A palliative for Bedwetter’s prominent mental health conditions?
Have they nothing else to do at their City Hall?
MORE STUFF WE’VE BEEN PROMISED AND COMING SOON:
ARE YOU FEATURED IN BASHAR WILLIAM’S DOSSIER OF DRIVEL OFF THE INTERNET?
ABSOLUTE PROOF JOHN WALSH IS A LIAR (JUST IN TIME TO HELP SUPPORT HIS EXCITING DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST COUNCILLORS)
JOHN WALSH, MARK WILLIAMS AND COLIN MOLTON ARE ‘STUPID’ EXPLAINS THEIR OWN LEGAL BRIEF
Around two-hundred Bristol City council staff will be transferring to the Teckal company Bristol Waste on 1 June (Bristolian Passim). UNISON remains wholly against it.
After failing to persuade the Labour administration not to go ahead with this, UNISON and the trades unions Unite and GMB have tried to persuade the two employers to adopt a position colloquially known as TUPE++. That is TUPE with further protections based on the protections they had previously enjoyed.
The employers have refused all our requests. The decision to not meet us half way or make any concessions at all pretty much sums up not just UNISON’s relationship with the employers but the other unions’ as well.
In previous statements we pointed out that ‘Terms and Conditions’ are only some of the rights held by staff and that other rights written into policies will not transfer. So we have just been told that the rights within the ‘Code of Practice on Investigations’ (if you remember the Greens tabled a question to full council about it recently) will not transfer to Bristol Waste. So the right (in black-and-white) to see evidence against you in an investigation before you are interviewed is removed.
The matrix for what you will and won’t receive is quite complicated and although we are not saying you won’t receive fairness at Bristol Waste, we can’t see any compensatory policy for our staff for the removal of such a right.
Nor will the sickness policy transfer. How many absences someone can have before being dismissed will be based on Bristol Waste and not BCC policy. The Bristol Waste policy is based on the’ Bradford Factor‘ which we don’t think has a very good reputation.
We have been accused of not knowing what we are talking about (even by the press) and we will take no pleasure in saying ‘we told you so’, which we expect to be saying often in the months to come.
We discussed ‘measures’ transferring to Bristol Waste and we failed to persuade them to make any changes at all. We agreed that Bristol Waste is ACAS compliant. but we see ACAS compliancy as an absolute minimum a civilised society should tolerate. We are dismayed to find that the powers-that-be find ACAS minimums to be satisfactory.
Our call to our members in cleaning to contact us has had very little response. We can’t go forward without consulting with you, so please get in touch if you want us to take action. Our response from security has been pretty good and we will be organising further action with you – if you give us your consent – in the future.
With the election safely over and the Reverend Rees restored to his rickety pulpit held together with gaffer tape and the prayers of his best friends, including Bristol City Council Chief Exec Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson and Monitoring Officer, “L’il” Tim O’Gara, it’s time to get down to the serious business of governing Bristol.
And the first item on the agenda? Is, er, getting a couple of gullible council managers to sue the Reverend’s chief political critics, Councillor Gary “Meathead” Hopkins and Councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy for defamation!
It’s been alleged in the Nazi Post that our dear old friend, the council’s useless pillock of a Director of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, and his latest dimwitted sidekick, Facilties boss David Martin “Bore-mann”, have “served [Bunter and Meathead] with a defamation claim demanding a retraction, public apology and damages”!
This appears to be in relation to comments Meathead and Bunter made at at a Human Resources Committee Meeting on February 18 and reported in The BRISTOLIANat the time.
In response to ludicrous claims from Walsh and Martin that cleaning and security staff that they had formally consulted were entirely in favour of being outsourced to Bristol Waste from Bristol City Council, Bunter replied that the bosses’ comments were “worthy of Dr Goebbels and the Third Reich.”
Meathead also frankly responded to Walsh and Martin’s unevidenced claims with “I don’t believe a word of what’s been presented to us by the management side.”
Get on standby, then, for the trial of century as two idiot council managers attempt to sue two councillors for making fair comment on the basis of the evidence presented to them.
On the one hand there was ZERO evidence presented by Walsh and Martin to back their claims. On the other there were TWO trade union written statements that the staff involved were deeply unhappy with the management outsourcing proposals.
Two Bristol City Councillors are the subject of a formal complaint from the council’s ridiculous pair of senior Human Resources bosses Mark “Bashar” Williams and John “Bedwetter” Walsh. This is the result of the councillors standing up for the Council’s cleaning and security staff, which Cabinet agreed last month should be outsourced to Bristol Waste Company to help disguise a large hole in the company’s budget.
The BRISTOLIAN hears that Tory councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy and Lib Dem leader Gary “Meathead” Hopkins are presently being investigated by the Council’s Legal boss “L’il” Tim O’Gara after complaints were received from senior officers about the conduct of a Human Resources Committee on 18 February 2021. Both councillors expressed robust concerns about the outsourcing at the meeting.
The same two councillors were the subject of a formal complaint alleging breach of confidential information three-and-a-half years ago following the controversial departure of former Chief Executive Anna Klonowski. who bagged a reported ‘Golden goodbye’ from local taxpayers of £98,000. Following an expensive independent investigation, both councillors were cleared of the daft allegation made by present Cabinet Member Cllr Kye “The” Dudd.
Bunter has confirmed to friends that he is the “subject of a complaint under the Members’ Code of Conduct” and denies any wrongdoing. He also told friends, “I am particularly surprised to receive a complaint from senior officers with telephone-digit salaries with reference to my attempt to defend the interests of some of the Council’s hardest-working and poorest-paid staff at the Human Resources Committee in February.
The timing of the complaint has also raised eyebrows. No complaint was made in the month following the HR Committee or the outsourcing decision made by Cabinet on 18 March 2021. Instead the managers have waited until the Local Elections to lodge a complaint.
Are this pair of HR scrotes trying to interfere in our election?
Further analysis of the Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) for the transfer of Bristol City Council cleaners and security to Bristol Waste reveals that over 36 per cent of the staff involved are black, not 34 per cent as we claimed last week. The increase is because we didn’t include groups such as Pakistani and Black Caribbean/White who are underrepresented among cleaners and security.
It is also noteworthy that, despite allegedly running a ‘comprehensive’ consultation with these staff, the council does not know the ethnicity of 42 out of 215 of them. That’s 19.5 per cent of this workforce. This is over double the ‘unknown’ figure for the whole city council workforce, which stands at 9 per cent. Could more work have gone into the council’s ‘comprehensive’ consultation of cleaners and security?
The EqIA is also unfinished. Here’s what we find at the end of the report:
Will Bristol City Council go ahead and outsource staff on the basis of an unfinished EqIA and a one page ‘comprehensive’ consultation that fails to state what staff said about the transfer? Is such a set of circumstances even policy compliant?
Meanwhile, the council’s Equality and Inclusion Progress Report 2019-20 tells us ,“a review of our Equality and Diversity Function in 2018 identified that equality impact assessments were often undertaken after, rather than before, service design or service changes have been proposed.”
Nothing’s changed since 2018 then.
Maybe proper EqIA’s are only needed for jazzy management and professional job changes at Bristol City Council?
THE REVEREND’S ATTEMPT TO OUTSOURCE VULNERABLE CLEANING AND SECURITY STAFF TO BRISTOL WASTE GOES NUCLEARDURING HR CONFLAB
The passing resemblance of last Thursday’s HR Committee Meeting of Bristol City Council to a Handsworth Parish Council Zoom session wasn’t just down to useful-idiot HR Director Mark “Bashar” Williams’ accidentally misinforming himself over whether or not he was still paying Colin “Head Boy” Molton the second highest local government salary in the country.
The meeting also had a special ‘Chair’s Business’ section dedicated to Director of Workforce John “Bedwetter” Walsh’s half-arsed plan to outsource his low paid council security and cleaning staff to Bristol Waste to save money.
It was this issue that had barking Tory nutjob Councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy telling Bedwetter that his description of the outsourcing proposal was “worthy of Dr Goebbels and the Third Reich.”
The comment drew a weak Claude Rains impression from Bedwetter as he attempted to feign shock at being branded, on the public record, as a liar by a senior councillor. It’s also noteworthy that staunch right winger, Bunter managed to outflank the Reverend Rees on the left with his views on this outsourcing issue,
Bunter’s comments came partly in response to Bedwetter’s ludicrous claim that the staff he had formally consulted were entirely in favour of a move to Bristol Waste and Bedwetter didn’t recognise Bunter and the trade unions’ version of events.
Versions outlined in a series of public statements and comments to the meeting. Bunter said that the staff he had spoken with were “scared and mystified” and were “terrified of losing their job” if they spoke directly with councillors or made public statements, as is their right, at council meetings.
The GMB told the meeting “Not one member of BCC staff … has expressed a wish to move across” and “the vast majority, many of whom are long service, wish to stay with BCC”.
Unison’s Tom “The Red” Merchant got even more to the point. He told the meeting, “The affected staff are very angry indeed over this and we don’t see why we should be shielding anyone from what is an understandable disaffection on the part of our members”
Tom the Red was also bemused that Bedwetter had managed to consult with cleaning staff, many of whom did not speak English and require an interpreter for Unison to be able to speak with them. He summed up, “staff who face transfers feel like they are bought and sold like cattle and though this phrase really upsets HR it is how the staff feel and I don’t see why I should be shielding the organisation from this level of disappointment from so many staff.”
Who’s telling the truth then? Bedwetter or the unions and councillors? One way to find out could be to read Bedwetter’s formal “best practice in consultation” document. It’s published with cabinet papers about the outsourcing and is scheduled to be rubberstamped by the Reverend and his Labour Cabinet next week.
Bedwetter’s consultation report is just one page long and while it goes into some detail about the process Bedwetter used to consult staff (which didn’t include using interpreters), there’s no mention anywhere about what staff actually said about his proposed transfer.
It’s an odd omission for a consultation report to have no content. It also means Bedwetter is unable to provide a shred of evidence, despite having apparently canvassed their opinion in a month long formal process, to back his claim that staff he has subsequently tried to gag are in favour of his plan.
Who should we believe? Notorious Director of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, called out at the meeting as a liar and unable to produce written evidence from his own consultation for his self-serving claims, or councillors and elected trade union officials who directly represent the workers in question?
Chair of the meeting, limp Rees brown-noser and University of Bristol PhD perpetual student prat, John “Welly” Wellington, did manage to apologetically squeak at one point, “I don’t think you’re a liar John.”
Although the Labour Councillor for Windmill Hill, who’ll be quitting in May after a futile term of unquestioning loyalty to the Reverend’s right wing crap, didn’t offer any explanation as to why Bedwetter had attended his meeting and talked his typical brand of bollocks.
But let’s leave the last word to professional Lib Dem gobshite Councillor Gary “Hefty” Hopkins who told Welly’s HR meeting, “I don’t believe a word of what’s been presented to us by the management side.”