Tag Archives: Facilities Management

Outsourcing of Bristol City Council Staff to Bristol Waste

 Via Bristol Branch of Unison

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.

TUPE TRANSFER WATCH #1

THE REVEREND’S ATTEMPT TO OUTSOURCE VULNERABLE CLEANING AND SECURITY STAFF TO BRISTOL WASTE GOES NUCLEAR DURING HR CONFLAB

HR meeting
Handsworth Parish Council talk HR

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.”

DICK ED NEXT TO TACKLE DOCKS SHAMBLES

“Dick” Edrich: the latest boss drafted in to sort out the council’s docks and markets shambles

Over FOUR YEARS after we told them so, Bristol City Council finally notice that their HARBOUR OFFICE and MARKETS SERVICE are expensively mismanaged basketcases.

The council is now threatening some sort of ACTION after finally publicly acknowledging, “poor governance arrangements; a poorly managed balance between commercial rigour and democratic accountability; a failure to maintain the Harbour assets and poor management” at its Harbour Office.

This comes four years after The BRISTOLIAN revealed that turd in human form, Harbour Master, Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol, was a serial and, apparently, unsackable BULLY who has got away with MULTIPLE BULLYING OFFENCES towards staff over many years. 

The docks infrastructure that he’s responsible for, meanwhile, remains at near-collapse after years of CHRONIC MISMANAGEMENT by underqualified Ahab and his handpicked team of clueless over-promoted supervisors and absent civil engineers.

We’re told that Bill “Dick” Edrich – the man who helped set up the loss-making Bristol Energy fiasco – has been urgently drafted in to BANG HEADS TOGETHER at the Harbour Master’s Office and in Markets, managed, for no coherent reason, by one of Ahab’s hapless minions in recent years.

However, those with longer memories may recall that recently departed property boss, Robert “SPUNKFACE” Orrett, was similarly ordered by Mayor No More Red Trousers – back in 2014 – to sort out the embarrassing management shambles exposed by The BRISTOLIAN in docks and markets.

Although the opposite happened when Spunkface left Ahab to reorganise the docks service as he saw fit. Ahab then used the opportunity to FIRE any experienced workers who had complained about his bullying and incompetence while ensuring his useless crew of management and supervisory bullies were kept on with enhanced salaries.

We can probably look forward to not much happening for a few years yet then

PROPERTY IS DEBT

Ding, dong the Spunkface is dead!

 Council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett, brought in to the council in 2012 for his “PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERTISE” has ceased to run the world’s most useless council department that specialised in draining us of public money.

Last year, Spunkface’s department – responsible for all the council’s buildings and its lucrative land and property portfolio – posted an inexplicably HUGE LOSS of £7.7million due to his failure “to achieve savings”. This ABJECT FAILURE went on to comprehensively fuck up the whole of the council’s accounts. This year, Spunkface, already facing losses of – at least – £2.6million in more unachieved savings, has finally quit.

Perhaps the Reverend Rees was no longer prepared to tolerate Spunkface, who  – when not losing enormous amounts of public money – is best known for his crude COVER-UPS of “mismanaged” cash in his Facilities Management Department’s markets and security operations?

We understand that Spunkface has now taken up a role locally at YTL PROPERTY alongside his former boss at the council, Barra Mac Ruari, the posh urbanist twit mate of Mayor No More Ferguson. YTL is Merchant Venturer, Colin Skellett’s development firm that bought the huge Filton Airfield site for development after an extensive marketing exercise by, er, Colin Skellet’s Local Enterprise Partnership!

Housing Tsar, Paul “Wolfie Smith” was handed responsibility for the council’s Property Services over the summer, mainly to act as nursemaid to the latest  multi-million pound Broadmead corporate makeover.

But did Wolfie finally pull the trigger on Spunkface and put our city out of the misery he imposed?

FROM AGILE TO FRAGILE: HOW SENIOR COUNCIL BOSSES HAVE SCREWED THEIR STAFF #1

ON THE DAY IT’S FINALLY REVEALED THAT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL’S FORMER CHIEF EXEC, NICOLA “LADY GAGA” YATES LEFT LAST MONTH WITH A £196K PAY OFF FROM THE THE REVEREND MARVIN REES, WE START TO REVEAL THE APPALLING FINANCIAL BASKETCASE GAGA AND HER SENIOR BOSSES HAVE TURNED OUR COUNCIL INTO … AND WHO’S GONNA PAY FOR IT

How has Bristol City Council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett already managed to run up a LOSS of £9m in his department this year? Surely there’s some mistake? Wasn’t Spunkface brought in from the super efficient, cash generating private sector to prevent just this kind of public sector waste and profligacy?

Spunkface

Spunkface: business pro who can’t identify a £9m loss?

A brief read of the Reverend Rees’s emergency finance report – expensively prepared by his highly-paid private sector finance consultant Anna “BIG WEDGE” Klonowski, managing director of Elka Solutions Ltd management consultancy – reveals that Spunkface has managed to turn a profit projected to be £7.5m in March’s budget into a LOSS of £1.5m five months later!

Most of the excuses concocted for this financial shambles float in a special space between useless and the absurd. According to Ms Big Wedge, Spunkface has flopped because he’s FAILED to increase return on investment property holdings; he’s FAILED to reduce running costs from the disposal of admin buildings and he’s FAILED to reduce facilities management costs as promised.

Since the rental income from INVESTMENT PROPERTIES was £10m in 2015 – 16 – slightly up from £9.5m in 2014 -15. It’s is hard to see how Spunkface or the council thought they could increase this income by £7.5m this year … So it’s nothing to do with that then.

Similarly, FACILITIES MANAGEMENT costs are just £4.3m a year so there’s no £7.5m savings to be made there … So it’s nothing to do with that then.

This just leaves the running costs saved from the disposal of admin buildings. A major part of recently departed strategic director Max Wide “Boy’s” SINGLE CHANGE PROGRAMME that was going to deliver £60m of carefully designed strategic cuts by March 2017.

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ - There'll be hell toupee with him in charge...

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’: has packed up his Powerpoint slides and fled

The jewel in the crown of these proposals was the ‘WORKPLACE PROGRAMME‘. The plan being that council would create “new agile working environments” for all council staff in just TWO BUILDINGS – an expensively refurbished Counts Louse and the newly purchased £15m Temple Street base. Apparently this could save the council a fortune in office rentals and leases and by having less buildings to maintain and administrate.

The new ‘agile work environments’ are already universally loathed by staff as corporate, sterile and IMPRACTICAL. Relying on expensive half-baked tech solutions and fashionable nonsense in an attempt to appear modern, the offices have only found favour with sad and lonely senior local authority bosses who appear to gain a sense of importance wafting around the ‘flexible space’ with their iPads.

Alas, Wide Boy’s Single Change Programme and on-trend ‘agile environment’ plans may not have panned out quite as he had planned. Before legging it in June he alleged via one of his many vague (but extremely agile with the truth) Powerpoint presentations to GULLIBLE COUNCILLORS that he had managed to deliver just £30m of his promised ‘savings’ up to April. Meaning a further £30m savings had to be found this year.

But now we find that a £9m shaped HOLE has appeared in Property Services exactly where Wide Boy’s agile ‘Workplace Programme’ savings should be. That means that Wide Boy’s overall savings are actually £21m not £30m. A cock-up that 1,000 low paid council staff will now have to pay for with their jobs. Less ‘agile working’ and more ‘fragile working’!

Marvin: talked shit and lost to a red trousered arse

Reverend Rees: employed a new gang of twats on big money?

So why don’t council bosses openly tell us about this financial savings BELLYFLOP and their wholly misconceived corporate ‘agile’ cock up? Indeed, why hasn’t Spunkface – as a responsible public servant – prepared a proper detailed report on the finances in his Property Department for the mayor and councillors? As opposed to keeping his head down and trying to bury this enormous senior management CLUSTERFUCK in an opaque set of accounts?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that Marvin’s newly installed team of highly paid bosses – some pulling in a GRAND A DAY on temporary contracts; others tax efficiently creaming £80k A QUARTER – are just about to embark on yet another top-down reorganisation?

They’re promising, with lashings of corporate jargon, natch, lots more huge savings. So maybe they don’t want anyone noticing that the last reorganisation was a load of OVERPRICED BULLSHIT run by a bunch of highly paid INCOMPETENTS and cover-up artists?

Are The Reverend’s newly assembled little gang of greedy bosses and management consultants preparing to deliver their own under-powered reorganisation using the same old over-powered corporate PR techniques safe in the knowledge they, too, can do A RUNNER before the shit hits the fan?

And Look! Top of the new bosses’ list – promising to deliver £16m of savings by March 2017 – is Wide Boy’s utterly failed and useless SINGLE CHANGE PROGRAMME!

That’s gonna work like a dream isn’t it?

MASSIVE MARKETS OVERSPEND PROVIDES FOOD FOR FRAUD

Why is Facilities Management leaking money like a sieve?

Facilities Management book keeping explained by way of a picture

Facilities Management book keeping explained by way of a picture

More news on TONY ‘THE TOERAG’ HARVEY, the council’s self-perking Facilities Manager following last issue’s exposé of his parking charge dodge.

Now we can exclusively reveal he’s a lot more careful with own money – about £50k a year from public funds – than he is with ours. Accounts published in November reveal that the Toerag’s Facilities Management department is OVERSPENT BY AN INCREDIBLE £602,000 – racked up in just eight months! Much of which – £283,000 – he hasn’t even bothered to account for.

The accounts do show, however, that the Toerag spent £104k on sacking staff and paying out redundancy – and that he overspent £51,000 on markets, which, er, are supposed to earn us money! So why exactly have council taxpayers been subsidising The Toerag’s personal St Nick’s Market fiefdom to the tune of £1,500 a week?

The markets overspending doesn’t stop there: in a special separate column in the accounts listed as ‘Other income’ we find Harvey recording a further £165,000 loss as “Markets Licence income shortfall”. That’s a “shortfall” of about £5k a week. What’s on earth has The Toerag been up to with our money?

One possible explanation comes from the local branch of Unison. In an open letter to Mayor Gorgeous before the budget they said: “We have just had a situation in markets, with a deficit of £200,000 that MAY WELL TURN OUT TO BE FRAUD…”

So that’s all right then. Especially when you discover that another one of The Toerag’s areas of responsibility is… City Council security and cash collection.

Your money safe in their hands? Ha!