Tag Archives: Human Resources Committee

BLANK CHEQUE FOR BENT BOSSES?

Soppy flow chart: where does it say what happens if you want to give a failed boss £100k?

While the Reverend Rees and his confused finance apprentice, Craig “Crapita” Cheney, cart their ridiculous Tory cuts bandwagon around the city’s neighbourhoods insisting services must be SLASHED to balance the books, their managers seem to have written themselves a BLANK CHEQUE for their excessive redundancy and pay-off expectations.

Figures recently released to the council’s Human Resources Committee show that of the 398 redundancies signed off by council Service Directors last year, 56 (15 per cent) of these were for sums in EXCESS of £60k. In total these 56 lucky people received £6,779,990 between them, which is 56 per cent of the total £11,929,765 in redundancy cash paid out by Bristol City Council last year.

Of the 56 lucky recipients of this FABULOUS LARGESSE by us, just SIX earned an average wage or below. The other 50 were on supervisory or managerial grades earning in excess of £30k a year. 21 (five per cent) especially lucky bosses received six figure pay-offs, sharing around £2.5m between them (22 per cent of the total paid out).

How strange this all is if you consult the council’s VOLUNTARY SEVERANCE POLICY, which tells us:

“The level of payment will be based upon ‘actual earnings’ to a maximum of £723 per week. The maximum payment that can be made to any employee is £43,380 which is the equivalent of 60 weeks’ pay.”

This ‘cap’ means no member of staff at the council can receive a redundancy payment of more than £43,380 . So what’s happened? Why has a democratically agreed policy been IGNORED by council service directors, who – according to the information handed to councillors on the HR committee – signed off these huge amounts of money to their friends and colleagues with no democratic oversight?

This latest OUTRAGE comes just days after Rees and Cheney were forced to admit that the council is now employing 36 more bosses on £50k plus salaries than a year ago at a cost to us of at least £2million a year. So not only have FAILED BOSSES – many of whom were involved in allowing councillors to set an unlawful budget in 2016 – been rewarded with excessive sums of redundancy money they are not entitled to, Rees and Cheney have employed even MORE bosses to replace them at MORE cost.

Why make one lot of bosses redundant at HUGE COST to save money and then employ even MORE? Is this even legal? If the posts are redundant then there should be no need to employ replacements and there should be less bosses and a lower salary bill.

We understand that councillors on the Audit Committee have queried with the HR Committee whether the Council’s Voluntary Severance Policy was “CORRECTLY IMPLEMENTED“. HR bosses have blandly and evasively brushed this off, responding: “to the best of officers’ knowledge, all exits were approved in line with the process set out at Appendix B.”

‘Appendix B’ is reproduced above. It is a soppy little flow chart that conveniently avoids legal and policy matters and neglects to refer in any way to the VOLUNTARY SEVERANCE POLICY and the ceiling on large redundancy payments or to the process for lifting this ceiling. Were these payments just signed off by Service Directors and HR middle managers as their chart suggests? On whose authority?

Oh dear. Do we have another financial scandal engineered by senior council bosses already? Shall we get Bundred back?

GREEDY BOSSES SCORE THEIR MASSIVE CASH BOOST

PF-loadsamoney_2177214bRejoice! It has come to pass! Two thirds of Bristol’s councillors have voted to RAISE the council’s senior bosses’ salaries by up to 20 PER CENT. Just as we revealed they were conspiring to do in the last issue of The BRISTOLIAN.

An elite group of bosses – already in THE TOP ONE PER CENT OF EARNERS in the city – can now look forward to enhanced pay packets from this month. The council’s three strategic directors will now be struggling along on £136K A YEAR while 29 service directors can look forward to pay packets of up to £110K A YEAR. Up from £90k!

Meanwhile councillors made NO PAY OFFER whatsoever to the rest of their long-suffering, low paid staff  whose salaries have STAGNATED for at least eight years. The little people who do all the work can fuck off as far as Bristol City Councillors are concerned.

Many from the establishment political parties – LABOUR, TORIES and GREENS – with the exception of a few maverick Lib Dems, supported this insane salary rise for bosses. Delivered under the guise of a pay policy claiming to REDUCE INEQUALITY between the lowest paid and the highest paid at the council by, er … Increasing the wages of the best paid!

While you expect bent Tories to stuff the pockets of the wealthy with public money, it’s extraordinary that the so-called progressives of the Labour and Green parties back these pay rises for the ONE PER CENT OF HIGHEST EARNERS. Especially when both parties are pretending – during the mayoral elections at least – that they are going to tackle inequality in Bristol.

Both parties also happily supported the unproven claim by Mayor Toryboy that these fat cat salaries have to be increased to attract “THE BEST TALENT“. Because obviously you need “talent” to shuffle paper, sit in meetings and fail to deliver a transport plan for your key capital project don’t you? It also takes “talent”, presumably, to keep your work and its finances TOP SECRET at all costs from the public you serve.

In reality, there’s ZERO EVIDENCE to show higher salaries to bosses improves anything at all. It’s as big an economic myth as the Tories’ notorious “TRICKLE DOWN THEORY“, which claims making the rich richer will make poor people wealthier.

Even the trade unions seem to be in on this CRUDE SCAM to benefit the bosses and not the workers. We’ve seen no public objection from the three main unions at the council – Unison, Unite and the GMB – to this scandalous pay rise for the rich or any attack on the LIES AND DISTORTIONS used to implement it.

Perhaps it’s time for workers at the council to organise themselves?

GAGA’S WAGE WATCH

yates iiBoth the city council pay policy reports to councillors in 2015-16 and 2016-17 insist council chief Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates’ salary is £160K A YEAR. This means she should earn ‘only’ up to ten times the amount of the lowest paid council workers on the living wage of £15,900.

This 10:1 highest to lowest wage ratio is supposed to be official council policy as laid down by the people we elect. Strange, then, that the last senior officers pay report published on the council’s website in December 2015 stated that Gaga actually earned £193K A YEAR!

Yates pay

This is up from £180k in April 2015 and up from the publicly agreed wage of £160k we were told she would earn when she started in April 2013. Gaga appears to have unilaterally awarded herself a SECRET 20 PER CENT PLUS pay rise outside of her own council’s written policy then.

The FOUL STENCH surrounding this woman and her easy access to public money is compounded by the fact she’s now been forced to admit she also earned £12k a year at an hourly rate of £60.00 as the Chief Exec of Bristol 2015 Ltd. This means her earnings may have topped £204k last year! Not bad for someone who ‘only’ earns £160k a year according to all the formal council documents on pay being fobbed off on us.

Look out too for that useless trade union worker and chair of the council’s Human Resources Committee Labour’s Mike ““ARSEHOLE” Wollacott at the Full Council Meeting next Tuesday. He’s adding his own cheap and nasty fragrance to the general stink of ill-managed public money, lies, greed and corruption wafting around the Council House these days.

Wollacott will openly LIE to councillors and to the Bristolian public on Tuesday and assure us all – on the record – that Gaga only earns £160k a year. Thus he can maintain his LIE that the council’s highest earner only earns ten times the salary of the lowest earner.

Gaga pay policy

Bristol City Council Pay Policy Statement for 2016/17

And before Wollacott or any of his mates start sending us wanky legal threats, he has already published his LIE in the report that he’s presenting to the Full Council on Tuesday recommending councillors give the bosses their 20 per cent pay rise.

Why’s this trade unionist openly LYING to councillors, his staff and the public about senior bosses’ salaries? Why’s he pretending he’s helping the low paid at the council while simultaneously hiding the real salary of Gaga that just happens to make a mockery of his party’s own living wage policy?

The whole lot of ’em – bosses and councillors – are taking the piss out of us, their staff and especially the low paid.

TOWN HALL FAT CATS ATTEMPT WAGE HEIST

pigs-feeding-at-trough

Service directors take lunch

A council pay policy report talking up the living wage and shoved in front of councillors on the Human Resources Committee last month claimed that the council’s new SENIOR MANAGEMENT PAY POLICY, apparently conjured out of thin air, is that the salary of Strategic Directors will be 85% of the City Director’s salary of, allegedly, £160k.

What this means, then, is that the council’s four strategic directors, struggling along on just £130k a year at present should get a tasty little £6K PAY RISE to £136k a year! … So much for austerity and cuts at the council …

That’s a 4.6 PER CENT pay demand from the bosses then. Meanwhile, the little people who actually do all the fucking work will be lucky to see a one per cent pay rise this year. Not that their bosses, busy FEATHERING THEIR OWN NESTS, have tried to get them any kind of pay rise at all.

Also joining in with this latest FAT CAT PAY BONANZA at the Counts Louse were 19 Service Directors. In their case, councillors are instructed to up the pay of this well paid shower of twerps “IN LINE WITH THE MARKET RATE“.

The “market rate” being £94,601, up from £90,989. That’s a cool FOUR PER CENT wage demand from them then. Apparently demanded – with a straight face – while these service directors personally take an AXE to public services in the name of austerity.

Adding to the sense of WHOLESALE RIP OFF of taxpayers and service users, bosses also demanded “An Uplift Band payable to Service Directors to reward exceptional performance.”

An “uplift band” that can earn a maximum of 15 PER CENT of total salary. In other words, service directors could earn as much as £110K A YEAR if they meet undisclosed performance targets based on secret criteria judged by themselves! But don’t worry, because bosses assured councillors they’d inform them immediately after they’d awarded themselves any “uplift band”!

The cost of all these proposed wage hikes appears to be in the region of £400K OF COUNCIL TAX PAYERS MONEY and no doubt these bosses have worked very hard indeed to set aside our money to sort out their wages for the next year in these straightened times?

But what about their staff? Are they getting a four per cent pay rise and a 15% “uplift band”? Well, we’re yet to hear ANYTHING AT ALL about pay proposals for them!

This pay demand – disguised as a ‘pay policy’ – now goes before all councillors at a FULL COUNCIL MEETING next Tuesday. And the Human Resources Committee, chaired by a supposed trade unionist, LABOUR’S Mike “Arselick” Wollacott is recommending councillors agree to bump the bosses’ wages up by 20 per cent while offering no pay rise to other council workers.

With trade unionists like this, who needs exploitative bosses?

INHUMAN RESOURCES? COUNCIL CHIEFS EYE UP OVERTIME PAYMENTS

Overtime ban threatened – but no one knows effects

Showing the sort of blue skies nonsense we are becoming familiar with under FÜHRER FERGO’s regime of red-trousered lunacy, a clique of overpaid senior managers has decided to SLASH overtime payments to a huge section of council employees.

The measures, put to the Human Resources Committee at its last meeting, were submitted as ‘information’ – but it’s clear that the councilors on the HRC, which is supposed to oversee all changes to terms and conditions for BCC staff, haven’t a clue what to do.

The overtime ban the bosses want in place will initially affect those on pay grades BG11 and above – hitting mostly middle managers – but sure as shit rolls downhill, it won’t be long before those on lower wage packets suffer too.

Chaired since May by Labour’s MIKE LANGLEY, ably assisted by his Brislington East wingman MIKE WOLLACOTT, their party colleague BILL ‘IN THE ARSE’ PAYNE, plus duff Lib Dems FI HANCE and GLENISE SWEETING ‘SOUR’ MORGAN and rounded out by Tory buffoon DICK EDDY, the HRC has so far BOTTLED the issue. It’s not as though it is the first they have heard about it – the ‘no overtime’ policy was brought up at a fractious full council meeting in February.

You would think that in the half-year since then some detailed costings would have been offered, or research started into the effects of such major cutbacks… But this being Bristol City Council, there has been nothing of the sort.

Instead, it appears the committee members are following the lead of the very people they are supposed to be directing: the CUTS-HAPPY TOP BOSSES running the council from the shadows, seemingly to please the increasingly temperamental and aloof GEORGE FERGUSON.

Unions have asked for a financial breakdown, and an explanation of how the changes will affect service delivery, only to be told that senior managers have ‘considered’ this – but that there are no actual figures or even minutes of meetings to back this up. Funny, that…

The usual lame promises that ‘this will not happen again’ were offered, plus the announcement that a full report on savings, and service delivery will be forthcoming at sometime in the next six months to a year.

The clear result of this policy will be the GRINDING TO A HALT of a vast array of out-of-office-hours services, from building security and maintenance of the docks system to public health inspections and support for vulnerable people – because no one in their right mind would work for nothing. Perhaps that’s the aim – for all we know Mayor Ferguson, the HRC and their senior officer chums want us all eating horsemeat burgers and the city flooded.

That would make more sense than the excuses they’ve offered so far.