Tag Archives: HR Committee

BIG WEDGE FUDGE

Marvin-Rees-and-Anna-Klonowski

More heat than light generated last month when councillors were finally allowed to publicly discuss the absurd £100K PAYOUT handed to Reverend Rees’s failed Chief Executive, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski in September 2017. The Reverend alleged at the time that Big Wedge resigned for “FAMILY REASONS” without notice and so she would not normally be entitled to any money whatsoever.

Councillors bombarded the Reverend with questions after council auditors, BDO, published a partial, if DAMNING, report on the affair. However, the questions were batted away by an embattled Mayor with TWO HALF-TRUTH EXCUSES: that there were no formal processes to follow for senior officer departures and that his legal advice said the pay-off was “contractural”.

NEITHER EXCUSE HOLDS WATER. The process for senior officer departures appears in the annual Pay Policy Statement and plenty of pay-offs have been approved by the HR Committee of councillors in the past. Under questioning the Reverend REFUSED to explain why this did not happen in this case beyond claiming that there was “NO PROCESS” to follow.

Meanwhile, the legal advice the Reverend relied on, labelled as “SURPRISING” by the auditors, remains shrouded in mystery. Despite demands by councillors, the Reverend WOULDN’T EXPLAIN why he didn’t get this advice through his legal department. He also POINT-BLANK REFUSED to release the request for this advice, the actual advice or, even, which of two firms of lawyers named in the BDO report provided the hookie information. The Reverend insisted that this was “THE LAW“.

A claim that is NOT TRUE. While the law allows legal advice provided to local authorities to remain confidential if they choose, it does not prevent them publishing it if they want to. Why is the Reverend SCARED SHITLESS of publishing anything to do with the advice he received or the circumstances surrounding it?

The only nugget of information the Reverend released during his pointless session with councillors were the names of the two chief officers advising him on this generous payout – “JACQUIE AND NICKY“.

Step forward  Jacquie “You’re Fired!” McGeachie – a former Tesco HR, now a local authority interim manager trading as Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd, charging £1,000 a day – and Nicky “Chocolate” Beardmore, a local authority management failure from Shropshire APPOINTED BY THE REVEREND as interim Head of Paid Service on £1,200 a day in the autumn of 2017.

The involvement of McGeachie is especially intriguing as she was a COLLEAGUE of Big Wedge’s – then trading as Elka Solutions Ltd – in Barnet in 2014 and Big Wedge personally brought Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd to Bristol when she became Chief Exec in early 2017. It then looks as if McGeachie RETURNED A HIGH-ROLLING FAVOUR by signing over a six-figure sum of public money to Big Wedge as she departed.

After a FRUITLESS COUPLE OF HOURS querying the pay-off, councillors agreed that the three-quarters of the auditor’s report not published could be debated in public at the Audit and HR committees and again at Full Council.

We think this is pointless. Isn’t it time Inspector Knacker looked into how Big Wedge ended up with £100k of public money in her personal bank account?


HEAD BOY SALARY SHAME EXPOSED

molton

The Reverend’s next large-sums-of-cash-needlessly-handed-to-bosses SCANDAL stepped up a gear in January when the council’s HR Committee DEMANDED that council boss Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson advertise the post of Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration “WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT”.

The committee also asked that their views “REGARDING THE PROCESSES WHICH HAD BEEN FOLLOWED for the appointment to the role of Interim Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration, be raised with the Chair, Vice-Chair and Independent Member of the Audit Committee.”

This is all about a report requested by Green Councillor Paula “Mickey” O’Rourke and produced by the council’s latest legal boss, “L’il” Tim O’Gara, into the ongoing employment of Colin “Head Boy” Molton on £1,500 A DAY as Interim Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration since September 2017.

Obviously, the contents of this report are A CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET, but we’re happy to tell you what it contains. Basically, Bristol City Council have FAILED to follow their own procedures in relation to Head Boy’s employment and this senior officer appointment has NEVER been authorised by either Full Council or the HR Committee as the council’s constitution requires.

Unfortunately it’s unclear, at present, who agreed the ongoing employment of Head Boy outside the rules and on HIS OWN HIGHLY LUCRATIVE PERSONAL TERMS beyond anything he could earn as an authorised employee of Bristol City Council. Instead the council claim they are UNABLE TO LOCATE ANY DOCUMENT ANYWHERE authorising Molton’s appointment although, “it’s highly likely his £1,500 daily charge is regularly signed off by HR and Workforce twit, John “Bedwetter” Walsh,” says our source.

So far Head Boy and his patron, the Reverend Rees, are kicking the can down the road on this issue and Head Boy’s job is YET TO BE ADVERTISED as it needs to be. Are close friends Head Boy and the Reverend arrogantly digging their heels in, believing SELF-STYLED CITY LEADERS are above the little people’s public sector employment rules?

Watch this space …

Rotten Comrades – Redundancy Pay Cut Scandal Update

by Our Industrial Correspondent  -The Dwarf

I thought I would give you an update regarding the council’s recent attempt to slash the redundancy pay of its hard-working and undervalued members of staff.

It has gone remarkably quiet recently unless, that is, you happened to be passing the HR committee like I did, where it was certainly less than quiet. Having been given a great big fuck off by the unions – yes, I know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day – city council management refused to drop the matter.

Instead, they decided to get our councillors to force the cut through and that meant a request to the HR committee to recommend that their proposal goes to full council for debate. Bristol’s trade union warriors got wind of this and after a flurry of phone calls and whispered conversations in council corridors, Unison decided to write a letter of protest and Unite decided to go along to the committee and protest in person.

Of course when it came to Unison Bobo sitting down to write, he jabbed his eye with his pen because he was startled by Chuckles stepping on the comb end of a rake and hitting her nose with the handle. Needless to say the protest letter was never sent by our amusing circus friends, but someone from Unite did manage to turn up on the day for the committee.

As I said, I was passing and I was sure I heard swearing, the breaking of furniture, a squeak or two and the odd plea for mercy or might I just have imagined that? Management came out of the meeting angry and outmanoeuvred. ‘N’ (from Unite) had explained to the councillors on the HR committee exactly the sort of stitch up management was planning and the committee had sent management off with a flea in their ears.

I was told by top secret, back-channel sources that the HR committee members found the whole thing highly amusing. A just decision as well as amusing, I would say. Here’s hoping that management now see sense and drop such a highly damaging claim on their staff.

I’m not using N’s name because he doesn’t need his name all over the internet if he has to look for another job anytime soon. But if they do go for him, I think N will see them off. But it will not be thanks to the usual rotten comrades who consistently failed to back him up. N has previously been under attack and it hasn’t been pretty.

But N is in good company. Many of our bravest, most principled reps have been victimised, sacked, managed out of the business on dodgy grounds, or nobbled by their own unions and all had piss poor service from those unions. If this was the train company or one of the engineering firms in Filton, everybody would’ve been out the gates by now. But anyway, here is a partial list of some of our nobbled class warriors, I salute them all, even the ones who contributed to their downfall.

1. R victimised. It was alleged he called managers ‘corrupt bastards’ when they gave themselves pay rises and handed around opportunities to each other like sweets.
2. M who suddenly found himself outsourced after campaigning against cuts.
3. A who was sacked for sickness but really because he was a rep.
4. M forced out of his union position for not being complimentary to a woman by email.
5. J sacked for threats but he maintains it was because he stood by his principles.
6. S redundancy bought forward before union elections making it impossible for him to campaign to win.
7. T downgraded after his own union recommended (in writing) that his job be provided differently.

I’ll keep you updated regarding any further shenanigans.

BOSSES WAGES UP: ‘SAVINGS’ DOWN

When Labour councillors voted in November for a TEN PER CENT pay rise for the council’s senior bosses as part of an organisational restructure, they assured us that £750k would be saved by employing less bosses.

Alas, just a month later and with an internal consultation on these management changes underway for the next few months, news is SNEAKED OUT that savings will now only be £500k. And, of course, there’s no guarantee this figure won’t drop further before the restructure is complete.

Looks like it’s another con to increase wages at the top in exchange for fuck all.

UPDATE:
Oddly, an entirely different story emerged directly from the mouth of the Reverend Rees regarding these ‘savings’ (as opposed to the traditional term ‘cuts’).

When questioned this week about how much his new senior management structure would ‘save’ us, the Reverend claimed the figure had risen to £830K. Somewhat different to the £500k savings figure stated in his own finance report he signed off in December.

Relevant sections of the reports are here:

Meanwhile a presentation to the HR committee just today still claims the savings are £750k:

So where did this magical new pr-friendly £830k savings figure the mayor’s spouting come from? And why are the HR committee still being fed an old figure discredited in finance reports in December?

And what – to use the Reverend’s own farcical management-speak bollocks – is the “single version of the truth”?