Tag Archives: John Walsh

TUPE TRANSFER WATCH #2: IS IT RACIST?

HR meeting
The great white masters decide the fate of the black workers

The transfer of Bristol City Council’s lowest paid staff in security and cleaning to Bristol Waste to save the authority a few quid and prop up their cash-strapped waste company looks racist.

 One thing left unexplored by the council’s HR Committee last Thursday was the fact that, at least, 34 per cent of the staff involved are black and many have English as a second language. Although that’s not the full picture as ethnic data on this section of the council’s workforce is incomplete.

 Many observers see this as a text book case of institutional racism as well-paid white male bosses assure councillors that these voiceless staff are happy to be transferred over to Bristol Waste on poorer terms and conditions than the ones the bosses will continue to enjoy.

 Director of Workforce John “Bedwetter” Walsh – who gets by on £122,475 a year plus £20,835 pension contributions – didn’t mention to the HR meeting the make-up of this section of his workforce. Was he embarrassed to admit that he’s forcing one of the lowest paid sections of his workforce with one of the highest numbers of black employees on to second class terms and conditions?

 An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) has been produced for a Cabinet meeting on Thursday and it confirms that 34 per cent of this workforce is black as well as showing that data on ethnicity for this section of the workforce is incomplete. The assessment also contains plenty of weasel words that try to excuse management.

 For example, it claims any ‘potentially adverse impacts on people with protected characteristics’ are ‘indirect’. As if poorer terms and conditions do not directly affect those concerned? The EqIA also claims, ‘contractual terms and conditions (including pay and pension) are protected in law, and it would be unlawful for the new employer to seek to change these for any reason connected with the transfer.’

 Then comes the caveat, ‘unless they have a justifiable Economic, Technological or Organisational Reason for doing so’. In other words, Bristol Waste have loopholes on hand to set about attacking these workers’ terms and conditions from the day one.

 The assessment also explains that ‘Non-contractual elements – such as HR policies – would change to those of the new employer, which may be more or less generous than those currently in place’. Why so coy over whether these conditions are more or less generous? The council know. It’s a simple exercise for HR bosses to read Bristol Waste’s HR policies and compare them to their own. Why hasn’t this been done?

 On the question of whether these workers’ existing HR terms and conditions will be protected, we’re told ‘BCC and BWC may secure greater protection of noncontractual terms, subject to this being affordable within the overall business case for the proposal’. In other words, terms and conditions will be traded away on the basis of a mysterious business case that hasn’t been published.

 Last year the council published a worthy ‘Transforming race and equality at BCC’ document to help them tackle their ongoing problems with institutional racism. The report’s recommendations under the heading  ‘Corporate Leadership’ addressing Equality Impact Assessments say, ‘In the event of there being likely disproportionalities in relation to BAME staff, a corporately agreed mechanism should be established to explore the reasons; and to determine whether there may be ways of mitigating against this.’

So where’s Bedwetter’s corporately agreed mechanism exploring the reasons why black staff are being disproportionately affected by an outsourcing plan that’s attempting to save a few quid at the expense of workers’ dignity?

SCHRODINGER’S CONSULTANT

THE EMPEROR'S NEW WAGES

Chaos at a Bristol City Council HR meeting today as hapless HR Director Mark “Bashar” Williams cheerily announced that Town Hall Fat Cat Colin “Head Boy” Molton, our very own semi-detached senior officer on £1,500 a day, no longer worked for Bristol City Council.

This was shortly before Tory Boy councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy described Bashar and his boss, Head of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh’s statements on outsourcing cleaning and security staff as “worthy of Dr Goebbels and the Third Reich”!

Alas, Head Boy’s surprise disengagement from the second highest paid local authority job in the UK was short-lived after a member of the public asking questions about Head Boy’s whopping £274k pa pay packet piped up that Molton had attended  a Temple Quarter and St Philip’s Marsh Cross Party Working Group on 22 January!

This left Bashar to foolishly mumble that “this is the information I have been given”. While who provided such an outright lie to Bashar – peering out from Zoom beside his boss, notorious liar, Head of Workforce, John Walsh – to feed to a committee of elected councillors was not made clear. 

Irish Tory councillor, Paula O’Rourke who creeps and crawls around the Counts Louse under Green branding made a feeble attempt to ride to Bashar’s rescue explaining that she chairs the Temple Quarter and St Philip’s Marsh Cross Party Working Group and that everything was above board and Head Boy was being paid by “projects”!

So that’s all right then. All sorted. The man earning the second highest local authority salary in the UK does not work for Bristol City Council, he’s just paid by them while doing their work?

LEAKED DOCUMENT: UNION SLAMS REES ADMINISTRATION FOR SHIT EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS

More problems for Bristol City Council’s beleaguered and failing Director of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh?

However, as further oppressive practices and anti-union activity against council staff by Tory-boy bully boy Bedwetter and his HR team emerges, a question arises. Is Bedwetter actually the Reverend Rees and his administration’s personal workforce enforcer? Employed on a handsome six-figure salary to shaft the council’s workforce?

The evidence from a leaked letter from Unison suggests Bedwetter is no maverick looney but, instead, is implementing an agreed suite of right wing employment policies on the instructions of his political masters. Read this letter to Labour councillors from the Secretary of the Bristol Branch of Unison and weep:

Dear Councillors 

It is a matter for regret for me that the links between this council’s senior union branch and the city’s Labour Party are as wafer-thin as they are and I suppose it is not going to get better anytime soon. However, in the hope of getting a better deal for our members, I still need to try to steer discussion to somewhere that coincides with our priorities and matches your aims and objectives. Here are some matters of concern for us.

 Sick Pay 

Yes, we are setting up some sort of work programme with Helen regarding the sick pay situation for care workers that work for organisations contracted by the council. The latest news on this was welcome. However, the mere fact of outsourcing has at best coincided, and at worst has led to, reductions in what we think are basic protections for staff who, ultimately, work for an organisation that is led by the Labour Party.

So, regardless of efforts to improve the sick pay for care staff we still have Bristol Waste who mostly do not receive occupational sick pay (some might have it because of TUPE) and who have suffered loss of pay over this trying period. Some are scared rigid putting themselves in danger each day; and we now see further moves to set up arms-length organisations (or contract out) where terms and conditions are pegged only to legal minimums. 

Outsourcing Agenda 

There seems to be an accepted view that the public sector cannot run services as efficiently as arms’ length companies and contractors. We disagree with this. But even if we accepted your privatising agenda there should be no reason to suppose that a Labour administration making these decisions would not protect and uphold decent standards for those organisations’ staff.

We stand for public services delivered by local government and it is within local government that decent standards can be maintained for staff (notwithstanding the problems being faced by council staff). In English law, labour protections are so small and regulation is so light that organisations that proudly say that they are upholding legal standards are really only upholding basic just-above-poverty entitlements.

The unions have struggled to lift people from poverty but there is a constant traction that draws wages down to minimum wage and reduces other benefits such as redundancy pay to statutory minimums. Management made an “offer” two years ago whereby we saw no tangible offer to compensate us for a loss of redundancy pay. We balloted and rejected it, but we shouldn’t have had to if there had been someone at a senior level who was prepared to stick up for ordinary staff. Decent redundancy pay does two things: it compensates the staff member and makes the employer think more carefully before letting people go, which is what we in the Labour movement should be supporting, not undermining.

Our staff are frustrated because they know they can deliver in-house (they already are) and are worried about being spun out to another third-party organisation where the risk of failure can appear as likely as it was before. Please see my points about outsourcing and sick pay above. UNISON remains opposed to TUPE transfers and outsourcing. This position was not decided on by this branch but by conference and is the national position of the union. 

Staff Appeals 

It is not my place to put pressure on you to find someone not guilty but I respectfully request that you listen to the evidence and make a just decision. I have, however, been placed in farcical situations that were unjust. The last time was before three Labour councillors.

Under the heading ‘appeals’ ‘what you can do in the hearing’ on the Acas website is ‘present new evidence if you have it’. It can be found here for you to check for yourself: https://www.acas.org.uk/appealing-a-disciplinary-or-grievance-outcome#:~:text=The%20right%20of%20appeal%20and%20the%20law%20The,them%20if%20the%20case%20goes%20to%20employment%20tribunal.

It goes on to say that employers should “look at new evidence, if there is any”. Unfortunately, Bristol City council’s position is that new evidence is not allowed at appeals and this was upheld by three Labour councillors – a position that is below the basic standards of Acas. It is fair to say I was taken aback. If we are not allowed to present new evidence what is the point? 

Breach of Contract 

With a section of our surveyors, management freely entered into a new contract, in writing, with our members to pay a ‘market forces supplement’ for between one and three years. A few months later, they then withdrew from that contract, which of course we are unwilling to allow them to do. We, alongside Unite the Union, have entered a dispute with BCC.

Management realising that this may end up in county court seem to have consulted a solicitor or two who know that they may be allowed to argue that three months wages is the award for breaking a contract such as this. We argue that it has a fixed term (at least one year) and we will see who wins.

In the meantime this places BCC’s commitment to honour its agreements in doubt. Again, it is not my role to press you to make decisions, but I want you to know that BCC is not a playground utopia for hard-leftists (as it is presented, I am told) but a battleground over basic bourgeois rights such as upholding a contract of employment. 

Unilateral Policy Changes

I have been arguing for months now that BCC needs to put its policies back to the last position where it was agreed with the unions. HR are attempting to reduce our employment rights further. Management have insisted that none of this is part of our contract and they can do this but when it coincides with dismissal (and other matters such as appointments) then we have insisted it is and they can’t.

None of this is minor: the sickness policy now says that you no longer have to be taken through the warnings consecutively – they can jump straight to the last stage (and dismissal) if they want. And there are no longer minimum periods for consultations.

We recently saw a one-week consultation that led to a contract change, which means restructures can be rushed through. There are many more minor changes that staff relied upon to get fairness at work. I can’t find anyone who will admit to okaying any of this so why is it still up? 

Conclusion 

The number of complaints I have are much greater than what I have set out above, but further matters will have to come later. It is fair to say, I can’t understand why our members are under attack like this but we are now going to start campaigning over these issues. 

Thanks, Tom Merchant, Branch secretary, Bristol UNISON  

COUNCIL’S BEDWETTER-AHAB ALLIANCE HUNT DOWN DOCK’S DISABLED

“All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.”

A judgement slipped out by the Employment Tribunal on September 25, studiously ignored by our local mainstream media, is yet another nail hammered firmly into the coffin of Bristol City Council HR. The council department led by arch-discriminator and the Reverend Rees’s BULLY-IN-CHIEF John “Bedwetter” Walsh.

An interim judgement published by the tribunal announces, “The claims of unfair dismissal and of DISCRIMINATION ARISING FROM DISABILITY in respect of the dismissal of the claimant from employment (on 25th of April 2019) is well founded.”

Yes, Bristol City Council are firing staff for being disabled. A finding of disability discrimination means an uncapped award for the claimant, which may cost council taxpayers a lot of money. Surely this is all a huge embarrassment for a LABOUR COUNCIL that likes to waffle on about their exceptional commitment to equality and diversity at every opportunity?

This latest equalities and diversity shambles comes courtesy of Bristol City Council Docks Service and is, therefore, the handiwork of one of The BRISTOLIAN’s oldest friends, Docks boss Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol. This notorious bully and serial incompetent – who describes his own supervisory staff as ‘WANKERS‘ when they’re out of earshot – should have been fired back in 2014 after a series of proven incidents of him bullying his staff. 

Instead he was let off after a reactionary old white man middle manager investigating the case retired before completing an extraordinarily long investigation. Ahab’s bosses then decided he could issue an apology and attend an equalities workshop with his staff instead.

Fat lot of use this workshop was if Ahab is now firing and DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE DISABLED with apparent impunity and a corporate cheque book at the ready to fix any expensive mess he makes. We understand that as many as THREE disabled staff may have been offloaded by Ahab so far.

This latest disgrace also raises more questions about Director of Workforce, Bedwetter and what’s going on in his HR department as yet more INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE comes to light at Bristol City Council. Ahab would have been advised and supported by Bedwetter’s HR team throughout his deliberate effort to discriminate against the disabled.

An appeal panel of well-remunerated ‘expert’ and ‘objective’ SENIOR DIRECTORS also would have signed off this dismissal on the advice of Bedwetter’s HR. Institutional discriminatory practice continues to RUN RAMPANT through the corridors of Bristol City Council unchecked and, as always, ends at the door of Bedwetter’s HR department.

How much longer will councillors tolerate Bedwetter and his nasty little regime of discrimination and bullying? Isn’t it about time they dismantled this rogue department and kicked Bedwetter’s sorry arse back to where it belongs in the1970s blokey culture of some provincial Yorkshire town? Then they can tie a large weight to the revolting Ahab and throw him into his dock for us.

Maybe that was what a TOP SECRET HR Committee meeting last week was discussing with Bedwetter and all of his senior HR team of racists, bullies and abusers? Or were they all CONSPIRING on another crude cover-up to maintain bully Bedwetter in post so that he can keep any uppity staff – who insist on taking their employment and human rights seriously – in their place for his Labour Party political masters?

How much longer can our scumbag council maintain the lie?

BATSHIT BULLY BOSS’S NEW HR HELL

public-interest-rubber-stamp-vector-13476788

Speculation has been rife on Twitter since an EMERGENCY Human Resources Committee Meeting of Bristol City Council was hurriedly organised last week with just one intriguing item to consider –  “CONFIDENTIAL STAFFING MATTER”. What can it all mean?

This ONE measly meeting item certainly attracted a very LARGE CROWD of senior bosses including “Li’l” Tim O’Gara, the council’s hapless Monitoring Officer; Husinara Jones, a senior council solicitor; Stephen “Not Colin” Peacock, the Reverend’s new useful idiot Regeneration chief and a whole host of HR bosses. 

Among these HR bosses were Celia Williams, Manager HR Consultancy; Mark “Bashar” Williams, HR Director; Mark Jefferson, HR Manager; James Brereton, HR Manager and our dear old friend John “Bedwetter” Walsh, the council’s batshit crazy bully of a Director of Workforce. 

So what’s Bedwetter’s absolute shower of institutionally racist HR incompetents done to their staff now that we aren’t allowed to know about? And how much is it likely to cost us? Perhaps a helpful councillor on the HR Committee might like to tell us in the, er, PUBLIC INTEREST?

Or will we have to find out for ourselves?

HAMPSHIRE NAG KILLING STAFF TO IMPROVE THEIR WELLBEING

virus

Have you heard the one about the appalling new ‘WELLBEING’ MANAGER at Bristol City Council who has triggered multiple complaints by council staff to HR for bullying? Please step forward ISLE OF WIGHT RESIDENT Christina “The Nag” Czarkowski Crouch, who didn’t rock up at the Counts Louse six months ago to start work as the council’s new  Safety, Health and Wellbeing Manager. 

Covid has proved a boon for this former Head of Risk and Safety at Hampshire County Council – who retired from there “UNDER A CLOUD” – as she’s only had to come to Bristol ONCE IN SIX MONTHS. Leaving this ridiculous Tory bint plenty of time to indulge in her expensive hobby running a riding school and poncing about at dressage events.

Less happy are trade unions at the council who tell us that there’s “a plan to get everyone back to work at the council based on an IDEOLOGICAL HR PLAN“. A plan enthusiastically fronted by a Hampshire resident safely tucked away in a home office 130 miles away who doesn’t see any need to come near one of her ‘safe’ workplaces in Bristol any time soon. Unions also tell us The Nag got paid a generous MOVING ALLOWANCE by us when she got the job but obviously hasn’t bothered moving to Bristol. What’s she done with our money?

The Nag’s current job at the council is to sign off – from a safe long distance – UNSAFE WORKPLACES and offices at the council as, er, safe. This corporate ‘wellbeing’ expert has done this by BULLYING staff into signing off her dodgy risk assessments and telling them that if they don’t do what she says, SHE WILL MAKE THEM LEAVE! Unions sources say The Nag is anti-union too and has refused to speak with them, let alone account for her efforts to kill council staff.

Multiple complaints regarding The Nag have now landed in Bristol City Council’s HR inbox. Although so far her bosses, the council’s mentally unstable Head of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, A NOTORIOUS BULLY himself, and his hopelessly thick and useless yes-man sidekick, Director of HR Mark “Bashar” Williams, have done FUCK ALL. Mainly on the basis that this pair of turds view bullying as top quality management practice that needs to be encouraged. Unless any bullying is aimed at them of course.

Why can’t city council staff just man up a bit and be prepared to die of Covid for a bunch of management cowards and bullies hiding in expensive homes around the UK?

WALSH’S WHISTLEBLOW JOB FLOP

MAYOR GETTING RACY

More problems for Bedwetter Walsh emerge as his useless HR department is UNCEREMONIOUSLY DUMPED from managing whistleblowing matters at the council. Responsibility for whistleblowers now sits with the Chief Internal Auditor as bosses’ and councillors’ trust in their OVERPAID HR MANAGEMENT CLOWN and his MALFUNCTIONING DEPARTMENT evaporates after a series of highly avoidable mishaps.

The new arrangements arrive after staff REPEATEDLY told council bosses and councillors that they had NO TRUST in the whistleblowing process under the bizarre management of Bedwetter who’s hobbies appear to include targeting whisleblowers for the sack.

It’s now general knowledge around the Counts Louse that this useless lying fruitbat was working at Wakefield Council in a senior HR role when six whistleblowers were PAID £1MILLION IN COMPENSATION after being FIRED and placed on a register of POTENTIAL SEX OFFENDERS for trying to expose CHILD ABUSE in Wakefield children’s homes.

How much longer can this dangerous fool survive in Bristol?

COUNCIL’S BEDWETTING PAEDO PROTECTOR BREAKS HIS OWN RULES

falling-pounds

Friend to any passing paedo and DANGEROUS ENEMY of decent social care workers everywhere, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, the council’s weirdo Director of HR and Chief Mayoral Arselicker, is at it again. His latest wheeze is TO EXPLAIN AWAY to gullible councillors his authorisation of the continued employment – ON £1,500 A DAY – of his executive colleague and the Reverend’s best buddy, Colin “Head Boy” Molton.

Despite Head Boy being REPLACED as Head of Growth and Regeneration in the autumn by his former colleague, another regional development bureaucrat, Stephen “Preening” Peacock, Head Boy CONTINUES TO WORK FOR THE COUNCIL ON A HUGE WEDGE. This bizarre arrangement was first described as “a sensible period of handover between Colin and Stephen to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain momentum with major projects” but more recently it has been slightly rebadged as “remain[ing] involved in a small number of projects for a short while to make sure there is a smooth transition.”

How long is a “short while”? AND HOW MUCH WILL THIS “SHORT WHILE” COST COUNCIL TAX PAYERS? Bedwetter finally made himself available to the council’s HR committee in December –   two months after he PERSONALLY AUTHORISED this generous arrangement at a cost to us, so far, of around £66k – to explain all. However, two key problems emerged from Bedwetter’s HR Committee appearance.

Firstly, the item was EXEMPT, meaning the public, paying for this EXECUTIVE THEFT, will not be told anything about this carve up by two public sector managers with a dubious relationship to truth, honesty and the rules. Secondly, Bedwetter’s ‘verbal report’ conveniently leaves NO PAPER TRAIL and NO ACCOUNTABILITY for a decision that puts large sums of public money into an individual’s pocket for no coherent reason.

Bedwetter’s dodgy ‘verbal report’ also ignores the Bundred Report, expensively prepared for the Reverend in 2017 to explain how to run a council lawfully and competently. The report demanded that “REPORTS rather than PRESENTATIONS to be used as the basis of discussions and decisions”.

Why, then, is Bedwetter deliberately breaking his own council’s rules to help line Head Boy’s pockets with our cash? Rules that he’s paid handsomely to uphold.

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 …

WHISTLING IN THE WIND

WHISTLING IN THE WIND

Council bosses continue to deliver a pile of NONSENSICAL CRAP instead of working WHISTLEBLOWING ARRANGEMENTS for their staff.

Delivering their ‘Annual Review of Whistleblowing Arrangements’ to the Audit Committee, bosses trumpeted to councillors that their review included “a survey of 100 CITY COUNCIL EMPLOYEES“.

Although the sheepish bosses went on to admit “the response rate to the survey was limited with only 22 RESPONSES RECEIVED“. This means around 0.3 per cent of council staff were actually surveyed, which seems a rather small amount to be building a working policy around.

The information gathered from the small amount of staff brave enough to respond was, however, deeply worrying. As staff admitted they have not reported concerns due to “FEAR OF REPRISAL” and “CONCERN THAT NOTHING WOULD BE DONE.”

Audit bosses response to this, supported by the city council’s hapless HR department, was to advise the Audit Committee that they needed to “REINFORCE THE MESSAGE“. Even though “the message” coming through to staff appears to be “don’t you dare blow the whistle at Bristol City Council”

After discussing the matter for a while, councillors concluded that their HR department needed to take responsibility for “REINFORCING THE MESSAGE” so that staff understood that whistleblowers have legal protections and any allegations of malpractice are taken seriously (honest guv, ed).

An odd decision since their current Director of HR and Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, appointed last year, was working as a senior HR consultant in Wakefield in 2006 when six social workers were SUMMARILY DISMISSED for trying to reveal serious children’s SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS.

The concerns were regarding children living in care homes run by Wakefield Council who were being exposed to DRUGS and were at risk of SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. Within a month of making their complaints in January 2006, the whistleblowing workers were FIRED. Wakefield Council then tried to get the six workers placed on a government blacklist usually reserved for SEX OFFENDERS.

Bedwetter scarpered from Wakefield in March 2006, before the fallout from the affair, which cost the council £1 MILLION in an out of court settlement to the exonerated social workers. There was also red faces all round at the council when it publicly emerged that they had sought to protect potential CHILD ABUSERS at the expense of WHISTLEBLOWING SOCIAL WORKERS.

Is Bedwetter Walsh really the best person Bristol City Council can find to promote a better deal for whistleblowers?