Tag Archives: Human Resources

ROTTEN COMRADES: ‘REDUNDANCY PAY CUT SHOCKER’

by Less-Than-Pragmatic Dwarf

Another month, another shambles as Bristol City Council’s dodgy unions bend over backwards to help the employer. This time it’s redundancy pay that’s at risk but, instead of telling the employer to go “do one”, our comrades have, er, bravely thrown in the towel.

Citing the obvious line that if unions don’t go along with the cut, the employer will change their contracts anyway, our reps have come up with a piss-poor, face-saving formula that they will add “checks and balances” to the proposals.

Management would threaten unilateral changes to contracts, wouldn’t they? It’s the first – and oldest – trick in the book. Instead of saying “nice try sunshine!”, our not-so-bright colleagues scratched the top of their heads, fell over their clown shoes and surrendered.

One of the “checks and balances” reported to our Industrial Correspondent is an increase to voluntary severance payments. A windfall that, for ordinary workers, is as rare as hen’s teeth. Besides, what manager proposing a restructure will choose the more expensive, but more equitable, voluntary route to redundancy when it’s cheaper just to choose who to fire?

Back when they had experienced reps, the unions argued that it was better to let volunteers go than to fire people who are desperate to keep their jobs. This will strike a death knell for such an idea. Unions agreeing to this proposal will change the contracts of thousands of staff, even non-union members, which is actually worse than doing nothing.

If nothing is agreed and the proposals are imposed, at least one or two brave members of staff could challenge it. Perhaps with the help of an ambulance chasing lawyer or a union that has somehow managed not to compromise itself? Because, of course, redundancy pay is part of your contract and enforceable in law. “Checks and balances”, even placed in a policy, won’t be.

However, it’s not a done deal yet. Although the reps are agreeing it in principle, the unions will need to consult with their members (watch out for some frighteningly Orwellian fact distortion in your inbox). They want the effects of this not to kick in for a couple of years. But they intend to agree it now and tie it down in such a way that nobody can claim, in say three years’ time, that it was a surprise.

It’s not just Unison this time, the blame lies with Unite and GMB as well. They’re all complicit in this. If you catch anyone from the unions defending or promoting these proposals, in the Counts Louse or elsewhere, do yourself a favour: make them a dunce’s cap to wear and ask them to resign.

 

MENTAL MARVIN

The Reverend Rees took to his pulpit for World Mental Health Day on October 10. “Time taken off work due to mental health illnesses was an “economic consideration” for the Bristol region,” he blustered on Youtube in another EMPTY PR GESTURE designed to make him look like he gives a shit.

Although he is right. Mental health illness is an “economic consideration”. Especially in his own organisation, where 25 per cent of the 4,000 working days lost to sickness absence at Bristol City Council in the last six months were due to “ANXIETY, STRESS, DEPRESSION“.

This is almost entirely the fault of the Reverend’s incompetent, naval-gazing SENIOR BOSS CLASS. A relentless focus on their own terms, conditions and wages and the obsessive feathering of executive and managerial nests at the DIRECT EXPENSE of the public they serve and the people they employ is clear for us all to see.

It’s no coincidence that the lowest rates of sickness – with less than ONE DAY per person lost to sickness in six months – are in the pampered executive offices of the City Director. Here, the soft-handed Reverend and his well-heeled bosses and advisors drift from relaxed meetings with each other discussing how to fuck up our lives to laidback briefings among themselves to set-up their next salary uplift. They are UNSTRUCTURED, UNSUPERVISED and UNACCOUNTABLE.

Meanwhile, the highest rates of sickness are in frontline services – social services, adult care and housing – where the absence rates are TEN TIMES more for those doing the REAL WORK – dealing with the consequences of crappy, distant management decisions from a decaying and corrupt organisation.

The Reverend’s response to the MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS unfolding in front of his eyes in his own organisation was another PR announcement for organisations he’s not really responsible for. Launching an unfunded schools’ mental health initiative he explained he wanted “to help young people build emotional and psychological resilience”.

Presumably, then, the Reverend’s staff can just fuck off?

TAX EFFICIENT BOSSES JOY

Mystery surrounds the latest corporate brownnoser to get the ear of the gullible Reverend Rees – Jackie “YOU’RE FIRED!” McGeachie. How exactly is she getting paid?

Ms McGeachie, urgently drafted in from her LUCRATIVE interim HR role at the council by the Reverend to knock together a new organisational structure after the disappearance of his former brownoser-in-chief Big Wedge Klonowski, usually SELLS her services through her own company.

The former Tesco UNION BUSTING HR boss turned jobbing local authority interim high-earner worked for Barnet and Haringay councils through her company Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd. So has she taken this well-known TAX EFFICIENT route – avoiding the little people’s PAYE tax obligations – in Bristol?

According to the council’s Expenditure Over £500 accounts – that they must publish every month – no payments have been made to Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd. However, since arriving in the summer MYSTERY PAYMENTS have started appearing in the accounts.

A payment for £14,058.66 in August and £21,087.99 in July for ONE HR member of staff do appear. Paid to Carlisle Staffing PLC, the council’s employment agency supplier. Who was this money for?

Coincidentally, when McGeachie worked in Barnet, they started routing her and other HIGH-EARNING interims’ payments through Barnet’s contracted agency staff supplier – Hays – to disguise who the money was going to. This was after nosey journalists and bloggers started to consult Barnet’s list of published payments over £500 to view the huge tax efficient sums corporate consultants were TROUSERING from council tax-payers.

Surely ‘onest Marv wouldn’t resort to such a dishonest practice?

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 …