Tag Archives: HR

ROTTEN COMRADES: Redundancy pay and, now, pay protection too

by Our Industrial Correspondent  -The Dwarf

I was going to talk about a multitude of issues (including management calling in the enforcement officers on their own smokers and timing staff on the bog) but today there is only really one thing on the agenda: the slashing of redundancy pay and pay protection and the unions’ inability to show any backbone whatsoever. Vote this out now!

The latest spin being applied to the redundancy pay reduction plan is that the money saved from redundancy payments could be used to give those remaining in work a pay rise. One of the union reps who told us that looked surprised when he was told that that would mean they could make even more people redundant. He had the grace to look embarrassed. Then, needing a distraction to make his getaway, he set his bow tie spinning before jumping into his tiny car, which collapsed.

But now, finally, after plenty of rumours and leaks, having consulted absolutely nobody, having absolutely no debate whatsoever, the unions are putting it to the vote. The last time we balloted over a change to terms and conditions about 45 people took part (out of thousands) and the unions used that “mandate” to agree to slash our evening and weekend pay. And lo and behold, restructures took place forcing more of our workers to work more unsociable hours. These terms and conditions protect workers and compensate them if things go wrong. Of course, none of our union reps work evenings and weekends, heaven forfend, and are confident they shall be the last people to be laid off, being so useful to the business.

My fear is that a handful of politically motivated idiots, feeling only pity for their work mates and only admiration for their betters, will fall for this, dragging us all down with them.

The details can be found on the council’s intranet – The Source – though at the time of writing it was hidden away somewhere in a dusty corner. Unison have some details here. Why not print off a hundred or so copies, roll them up and use the resulting tube in a way that would make it difficult for some of our comrades to sit down?

But remember, don’t have a go at your local shop steward. The unions are using them to take the flak. He or she is as surprised as you are by this turn of events. Give your branches and regions a call and ask them what the hell they are playing at.

Unison’s Bristol office number is 0117 353 3956.

Unite’s Bristol office number is 0117 923 0555.

Say no to this awful example of incompetent negotiation, for heaven’s sake!

The unions’ have been hopeless, is there no organisation that can come to our aid? We’ve had the Bristolian Party, is it not now time for ‘Bristolian the Union’? Now there’s a thought. Can you imagine us at the Council’s top table?

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”?

WORLD OF THE USELESS UPDATE

Keith Barrow: company expert Beardmore didn’t notice he was shagging the auditor!

Congratulations to Nikki “Chocolate Fireguard” Beardmore. She’s ascended Bristol City Council’s greasy pole at remarkable speed to joins the council’s official REALM OF THE STUPID and claim a prized six-figure salary as the fancy-sounding ‘Interim Strategic Director of Resources’.

Ms Fireguard pitched up in Bristol last April as ‘Interim Commercial Director’ for the council and Bristol Holding Ltd – part of Mayor No More Ferguson and Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates’s bizarre network of UNACCOUNTABLE and FAILING private companies set up with our cash.

Ms Fireguard’s first move was to hand £3million more of our money to the council’s energy reselling business shambles, Bristol Energy, who used it to get themselves 10,000 customers and post an immediate £3million LOSS … Charged to us!

With this success under her belt, Ms Fireguard was immediately promoted to ‘Interim Director – HR, Change, ICT, Communications & Culture’. Here, the great strategist – having overseen a RANDOM and DISORGANISED voluntary redundancy process last year (surely she “led a programme of change using a rapid redesign methodology to drive and deliver major and complex change at pace”? Ed.) – set the council on course to spend £10million this year employing 15 per cent of its workforce on expensive temporary contracts.

Now, just four months into this role, Ms Fireguard has hit the jackpot and has been PROMOTED by the Reverend’s under-powered new Chief Exec, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski, to the Counts Louse’s top table and been issued with a long spoon.

Nobody at Bristol City Council bothered to research Ms Fireguard’s CV then? Had they done so they might have noticed that she has a record of, er, APPALLING FAILURE allied to ZERO entrepreneurial skills and a wholesale INABILTY to oversee and scrutinise the work of senior colleagues!

Ms Fireguard’s previous employer was Shropshire Council where she rose to the giddy heights of Director of Resources & Support in 2013. She then got a taste of the really big time in December 2014 when she was also appointed Chief Operations Officer of ip&e, a wholly owned council company notorious locally for continually LOSING MONEY, disliking disclosing information to councillors and the public and trying to UNLAWFULLY DODGE FoI requests!

Somehow things managed to take a TURN FOR THE WORSE on Ms Fireguard’s watch, however, when Shropshire’s council leader Keith Barrow hurriedly resigned as chairman of the board of ip&e in September 2015 after a conflict of interest SCANDAL. Apparently the dubious Tory twit was in a “personal relationship” with one of the auditors he had appointed to ip&e in 2012!

Is this not something a competent ‘leader’ might have noticed while a senior boss at an organisation for all those years? Apparently not. Instead Ms Fireguard sloped off in DISGRACE from Shropshire in December 2015 to enter the world of local government consultancy. Three months later she popped up in Bristol as an expert in local authority trading companies!

Last spring, with the ink still drying on Ms Fireguard’s lucrative consultancy contract in Bristol, ip&e was wound-up in Shropshire as an EMBARRASSING FAILURE. Although we understand there’s an ongoing fraud case at Shrewsbury Crown Court relating to the company and FALSIFIED INVOICES. Another unfortunate incident their expert Chief Operations Officer managed to miss!

To add to the sense of absolute farce surrounding this latest appointment to a senior post in our city, oddly – for someone employed to sort out a crisis hit FINANCE DEPARTMENT – Ms Fireguard is qualified in, er, MARKETING!

Don’t believe the Reverend’s bullshit, hype and spin. The pieces are already falling into place for yet another Bristol City Council financial scandal within the next few years

MARKETS: TONY HARVEY’S OLD BOSS GAVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO EXPOSE HIM IN THE PRESS!!!

**** ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER EMAIL COMES TO LIGHT ABOUT THE COUNCIL’S DERANGED MANAGEMENT OF THE MARKET SERVICE SCANDAL ****

**** UNACCOUNTABLE ‘TAX EFFICIENT’ CONSULTANT ON SIX FIGURE SALARY DROPS HARVEY IN IT AND BRAVELY RUNS AWAY! ****

Web Exclusive On 6 December 2012, Tony Harvey’s then boss, Mike “Tax efficient” Watts responded to a query from a  markets service whistleblower.

The whistlebloThe Markets Filewer was concerned that the recently published audit report into markets, which left every one of their complaints “UNRESOLVED” after six months of supposed investigation, was being ignored and buried by Watts, a highly paid consultant Service Director, and his useful idiot, Harvey who he had designated as his hatchet man.

Watts – or Capability and Performance Improvement Ltd as perhaps he should be known – was pointedly and directly asked about the whistleblower taking their complaints outside of the city council. Watts’ brusque reply was, “you are fully entitled to take up with any other authority you see fit and have been all along.”

MikeWatts

The tax efficient civil servant – “I don’t have to give a toss. Thanks for the cash and goodbye.”

So did Watts consider that the whistleblower might see the press as fit? And did this supposed human resources expert think through the potential implications of this for the staff he was responsible for and who would be in the direct line of fire?

But why would he give a toss? The greedy private sector consultant – who was not even an employee of Bristol City Council and who was paid by us council tax payers through a limited company to reduce his income tax bill – was off to take up another lucrative and unaccountable post waffling about HR for Southampton City Council!

So he wasn’t going to be around to pick up the pieces from his crap, macho man decisions was he? Talk about dropping other people in it …