Tag Archives: Disability

COUNCIL’S BEDWETTER-AHAB ALLIANCE HUNT DOWN DOCK’S DISABLED

“All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.”

A judgement slipped out by the Employment Tribunal on September 25, studiously ignored by our local mainstream media, is yet another nail hammered firmly into the coffin of Bristol City Council HR. The council department led by arch-discriminator and the Reverend Rees’s BULLY-IN-CHIEF John “Bedwetter” Walsh.

An interim judgement published by the tribunal announces, “The claims of unfair dismissal and of DISCRIMINATION ARISING FROM DISABILITY in respect of the dismissal of the claimant from employment (on 25th of April 2019) is well founded.”

Yes, Bristol City Council are firing staff for being disabled. A finding of disability discrimination means an uncapped award for the claimant, which may cost council taxpayers a lot of money. Surely this is all a huge embarrassment for a LABOUR COUNCIL that likes to waffle on about their exceptional commitment to equality and diversity at every opportunity?

This latest equalities and diversity shambles comes courtesy of Bristol City Council Docks Service and is, therefore, the handiwork of one of The BRISTOLIAN’s oldest friends, Docks boss Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol. This notorious bully and serial incompetent – who describes his own supervisory staff as ‘WANKERS‘ when they’re out of earshot – should have been fired back in 2014 after a series of proven incidents of him bullying his staff. 

Instead he was let off after a reactionary old white man middle manager investigating the case retired before completing an extraordinarily long investigation. Ahab’s bosses then decided he could issue an apology and attend an equalities workshop with his staff instead.

Fat lot of use this workshop was if Ahab is now firing and DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE DISABLED with apparent impunity and a corporate cheque book at the ready to fix any expensive mess he makes. We understand that as many as THREE disabled staff may have been offloaded by Ahab so far.

This latest disgrace also raises more questions about Director of Workforce, Bedwetter and what’s going on in his HR department as yet more INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE comes to light at Bristol City Council. Ahab would have been advised and supported by Bedwetter’s HR team throughout his deliberate effort to discriminate against the disabled.

An appeal panel of well-remunerated ‘expert’ and ‘objective’ SENIOR DIRECTORS also would have signed off this dismissal on the advice of Bedwetter’s HR. Institutional discriminatory practice continues to RUN RAMPANT through the corridors of Bristol City Council unchecked and, as always, ends at the door of Bedwetter’s HR department.

How much longer will councillors tolerate Bedwetter and his nasty little regime of discrimination and bullying? Isn’t it about time they dismantled this rogue department and kicked Bedwetter’s sorry arse back to where it belongs in the1970s blokey culture of some provincial Yorkshire town? Then they can tie a large weight to the revolting Ahab and throw him into his dock for us.

Maybe that was what a TOP SECRET HR Committee meeting last week was discussing with Bedwetter and all of his senior HR team of racists, bullies and abusers? Or were they all CONSPIRING on another crude cover-up to maintain bully Bedwetter in post so that he can keep any uppity staff – who insist on taking their employment and human rights seriously – in their place for his Labour Party political masters?

How much longer can our scumbag council maintain the lie?

Rotten Comrades: Disability, Part One By the Dwarf

I had no idea that two weeks after my last article about the (bad) experience of (quite a few) black and ethnic minority staff that the council would hold a ceremony celebrating the council’s, er, success in supporting people from marginalised backgrounds (otherwise known as the ‘Stepping Up’ program). I might not have helped.

So it is with that recognition that I am hoping that the council aren’t about to announce some sort of ceremony celebrating the Council’s success in supporting people with disabilities, because today – hold on to your hats – I have quite a few things to say about how the Council treats its disabled staff, too.

The Council is bad on disability. Its worst offender is Adult Social Care (the “caring” profession), but other departments get a dishonourable mention as well. It’s not always the manager’s fault, because sometimes they want to help their staff, but pressure from more senior managers and woeful advice from HR makes it inevitable that staff don’t get the help they need.

Let’s be clear about this: the employer MUST make reasonable adjustments to help disabled staff overcome organisational, operational and physical obstacles. The Council – or at least its managers – treat any adjustment that requires them spending any of their budget on it, as unreasonable, which is quite wrong.

So what happens is that a person who has deteriorated in physical or mental ability takes some time off – perhaps they have an operation or a spell recovering from a breakdown of some kind. They consult their doctor who says, ‘I’ll write you a fit note saying you must have light duties. Here you go, they have to give it to you – it’s the Equality Act 2010.’

Except, when that person does return to work they get told: ‘we don’t have light duties.’ So the staff member goes back on the sick. They don’t have any choice, they have a disability, they aren’t as able as they were before.

A few months later, the sick pay has run out, management have popped round twice and very nicely, over a cup of tea and a digestive, given you a level one and then a level two ‘notice of unacceptable attendance’ and you have to go back to work or face ruin. The HR adviser was a very nice woman who nodded whenever you spoke and frowned in all the right places.

That HR adviser is the one who will tell you, when you get back, that because of ‘the needs of the business’ there are no light duties and that we will now need to give you a ‘stage three final review of attendance’. You reply that there is always paperwork that needs doing, or perhaps it is just visiting people’s homes that you can’t do anymore and perhaps you could do triage instead? And why are you giving me a stage three when I have done what you wanted and come back to work? But the answer is no and the stage three is just policy.

One of three things happen next: you go back to work on their terms and have a fall; you go back on the sick and they hold the stage three in your absence, dismissing you; or you phone the union and try and get what is supposed to be an ethical employer to accept its responsibilities.

There is another pitfall that unwary staff fall into that the employer is only too happy to lay. If there are no adjustments that can reasonably be done – and scepticism would be my default position on this – then medical redeployment is a reasonable adjustment. What if there are no suitable jobs? What if I get no help? Well, at the end of the redeployment, if you haven’t found another job you are then on the dole.

What sort of impairments are we talking? Cancer, musculo-skeletal injuries, fibromyalgia, depression, macular degeneration – those sorts of things. All serious and all debilitating unless you get the support you need to work with less pain; happy and productive in your occupation. You may have seen them struggling their way around City Hall, terrified of being managed out of the business.

It didn’t use to be like this. In the old days, if you had seen better days your manager would’ve done his best to look after you. Something bitter and hard-hearted has happened to the Council.