Possible strike for County Hall staff

Evesham Journal: County Hall: Unison say a strike could be on the cards County Hall: Unison say a strike could be on the cards

UNION bosses in Worcestershire have hit out at the shock news that 1,500 jobs are being axed at the county council - and have revealed that strike action could be on the cards over pay.

Unison says staff at County Hall are "furious" and "disenchanted" over last week's announcement that a staggering 42 per cent of the workforce can expect the chop by 2018.

Your Worcester News can also reveal that a ballot has just taken place over the offer of one per cent pay rise, with the results due to be announced next Thursday.

If a majority of workers reject the offer, a second legal ballot could take place over industrial action.

As your Worcester News revealed last Friday, the council has launched a new plan to hand over as many departments as possible to new providers.

It will mean just 2,000 in-house staff being employed by April 2018, compared to 3,500 now.

Jim Price, from the Worcestershire branch of Unison said: "Staff have been left furious about it, there's a lot of disenchantment.

"Things have now clearly changed and it looks like no matter how good your department is, you're eventually going to be outsourced or closed down.

"A lot of goodwill from the staff is out the window. We're determined to carry on fighting this very difficult battle."

He said despite the anger Unison still has a "good working relationship" with leader Councillor Adrian Hardman and wanted further talks.

Mr Price also said the pay ballot has come about because many workers are finding the cost of living tough.

Staff were handed a one per cent rise in 2013, and before last year had to endure four years of freezes.

"We're claiming at least an extra £1 per hour, which for staff lower down the pay grades would be a substantial amount," he said.

"Staff are still 16 per cent worse off since the change of Government."

The ballot says if staff reject it, in the event of an impasse a second vote will take place which "may require" a strike.

Councillor Hardman says the changes have to be made to respond to reducing Government funding.

"By changing the way we work, we do believe we can manage the budget pressures," he said.

"We won't sack 1,500 people but we do not expect them to be directly employed by this council.

"I've been to seven staff roadshows where this has been quite the topic of debate, there are concerns about it but than there are always concerns over change."

Comments (33)

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7:19pm Tue 22 Apr 14

A Different View says...

So the Unions want to award pay rises of almost £2k to workers (£1 per hour), who typically are being paid the same as they would in the private sector, when they already get better holidays and pensions than their counterparts?

For 3,500 staff including NI and pension contributions that would add over £8m to the wage bill for no improvement to the public.

Wow....
So the Unions want to award pay rises of almost £2k to workers (£1 per hour), who typically are being paid the same as they would in the private sector, when they already get better holidays and pensions than their counterparts? For 3,500 staff including NI and pension contributions that would add over £8m to the wage bill for no improvement to the public. Wow.... A Different View
  • Score: -2

7:25pm Tue 22 Apr 14

skychip says...

Feel sorry for those whose jobs hang in the balance. Morale must be very low at County Hall
Feel sorry for those whose jobs hang in the balance. Morale must be very low at County Hall skychip
  • Score: 18

7:50pm Tue 22 Apr 14

darren3o says...

skychip wrote:
Feel sorry for those whose jobs hang in the balance. Morale must be very low at County Hall
Welcome to the real world
[quote][p][bold]skychip[/bold] wrote: Feel sorry for those whose jobs hang in the balance. Morale must be very low at County Hall[/p][/quote]Welcome to the real world darren3o
  • Score: -15

10:57pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Landy44 says...

I feel very sorvry for those impacted by this situation but it is an inevitable reaction to the unneccesssary and unsustainable growth in the public sector under the previous government (and to an extent those before). This is a sad but essential reduction which should not be a "shock" as this article suggests".

Based on this article the unions are showing how out of touch they are with the pay issue - for that matter the entire public sector pension "promise" is gold played, unsustainable and NOT BUDGETTED OR ACCOUNTED FOR when the government talk about the deficit and national debt - that's right: those "promises" are NOT BUDGETTED for (no other organisation could get away with that).

Mr Hardman however either needs a wake-up call or a reality check, or perhaps his word quoted here should be studied closely. "we're or going to sack 1500 staff", "they won't be employed directly".....the reality is some people may TUPE over to new providers but it will need to be a minimal percentage to deliver the savings.

As to Mr Price - this isn't about performance - its about cost. The tax payer can no longer afford the services, and the cost will group relatively as the ability of the public goes down, relatively, in coming years.

This is, sad to say, still too little, too late. Good luck sincerely to all those adversely impacted - you are, sad to say, pawns in some one else's game - as many opus are to an extent.
I feel very sorvry for those impacted by this situation but it is an inevitable reaction to the unneccesssary and unsustainable growth in the public sector under the previous government (and to an extent those before). This is a sad but essential reduction which should not be a "shock" as this article suggests". Based on this article the unions are showing how out of touch they are with the pay issue - for that matter the entire public sector pension "promise" is gold played, unsustainable and NOT BUDGETTED OR ACCOUNTED FOR when the government talk about the deficit and national debt - that's right: those "promises" are NOT BUDGETTED for (no other organisation could get away with that). Mr Hardman however either needs a wake-up call or a reality check, or perhaps his word quoted here should be studied closely. "we're or going to sack 1500 staff", "they won't be employed directly".....the reality is some people may TUPE over to new providers but it will need to be a minimal percentage to deliver the savings. As to Mr Price - this isn't about performance - its about cost. The tax payer can no longer afford the services, and the cost will group relatively as the ability of the public goes down, relatively, in coming years. This is, sad to say, still too little, too late. Good luck sincerely to all those adversely impacted - you are, sad to say, pawns in some one else's game - as many opus are to an extent. Landy44
  • Score: 3

11:02pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

One of the biggest overheads / costs at County Hall are the Councillors with Attendance allowances and additional travel they are costing we tax payers over £880,000 per year. Which considering they do not work / attend a 50 week year costs over £20, 000 per week.
Are they going to be privatised???
One of the biggest overheads / costs at County Hall are the Councillors with Attendance allowances and additional travel they are costing we tax payers over £880,000 per year. Which considering they do not work / attend a 50 week year costs over £20, 000 per week. Are they going to be privatised??? Jabbadad
  • Score: 15

10:41am Wed 23 Apr 14

lilboo says...

Lip service from the unions, all huff and no puff I'm afraid!
Lip service from the unions, all huff and no puff I'm afraid! lilboo
  • Score: 5

11:10am Wed 23 Apr 14

Sulis76 says...

How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.
How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet. Sulis76
  • Score: -11

1:04pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Sulis76 Perhaps it isn't that the public servants don't get the huge salaries you feel they do but perhaps that the private sector (mainly CONservatives) pay less, and after the Hue & Cry from them over the intorduction of the minimum wage are quite happy to pay this and less when they can get away with it.
But it's quite a Myth that Council staff all get huge wages and perks. those who use their own cars for their work are entitled to claim mileage as do the County Councillors, who perhaps claim mileage to get to meetings, while the staff cannot claim to get to work from home.
And of course we now know that due to CONservative policies the jobs in the public services are no more secure than the private ZERO HOUR JOBS that the CONservatives support / promote.
And while we are told by the CONservatives that the OUTSOURCING OF CONTRACTS saves money the savings are usually made by cutting wages, and hours, and travel and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL it is being reported by CUTTING THE SERVICE GIVEN.
So if that is the world you wish for just hope you don't wind up on a ZERO HOUR contract, which means no job gaurantee, no income gaurantee, no Future gaurantee.
Sulis76 Perhaps it isn't that the public servants don't get the huge salaries you feel they do but perhaps that the private sector (mainly CONservatives) pay less, and after the Hue & Cry from them over the intorduction of the minimum wage are quite happy to pay this and less when they can get away with it. But it's quite a Myth that Council staff all get huge wages and perks. those who use their own cars for their work are entitled to claim mileage as do the County Councillors, who perhaps claim mileage to get to meetings, while the staff cannot claim to get to work from home. And of course we now know that due to CONservative policies the jobs in the public services are no more secure than the private ZERO HOUR JOBS that the CONservatives support / promote. And while we are told by the CONservatives that the OUTSOURCING OF CONTRACTS saves money the savings are usually made by cutting wages, and hours, and travel and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL it is being reported by CUTTING THE SERVICE GIVEN. So if that is the world you wish for just hope you don't wind up on a ZERO HOUR contract, which means no job gaurantee, no income gaurantee, no Future gaurantee. Jabbadad
  • Score: 4

1:05pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Raniator says...

Is it just me or is threatening to not turn up for work when faced with redundancy just a little bit stupid?
Is it just me or is threatening to not turn up for work when faced with redundancy just a little bit stupid? Raniator
  • Score: 9

2:49pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Moltaire says...

Sulis76 wrote:
How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.
With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct.

From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k.

As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to.

As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too.

As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too.

So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering.
[quote][p][bold]Sulis76[/bold] wrote: How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.[/p][/quote]With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct. From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k. As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to. As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too. As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too. So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering. Moltaire
  • Score: -8

3:09pm Wed 23 Apr 14

skychip says...

The above comment has summed up working at the Council just right.. Quite a lot of wasted time for good salaries.
The above comment has summed up working at the Council just right.. Quite a lot of wasted time for good salaries. skychip
  • Score: -3

3:10pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Redhillman says...

Moltaire wrote:
Sulis76 wrote:
How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.
With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct.

From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k.

As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to.

As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too.

As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too.

So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering.
I'm almost lost for words Moltaire. I think we all knew council staff still had it good, but this beyond what I was expecting. Their pay and conditions are still way better than so many private sector employees, and yet they have the gall to discuss industrial action. These council staff really do disgust me at times and their attitude stinks.
[quote][p][bold]Moltaire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sulis76[/bold] wrote: How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.[/p][/quote]With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct. From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k. As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to. As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too. As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too. So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering.[/p][/quote]I'm almost lost for words Moltaire. I think we all knew council staff still had it good, but this beyond what I was expecting. Their pay and conditions are still way better than so many private sector employees, and yet they have the gall to discuss industrial action. These council staff really do disgust me at times and their attitude stinks. Redhillman
  • Score: -2

3:51pm Wed 23 Apr 14

dulon says...

Local government and some NHS positions are being lost ..BUT . It would be really interesting to see how many are re-engaged in a different capacity to do the same job .
And, that is after they 'reluctantly' accept a remarkably generous redundancy package that the private sector cannot afford. Plus a pension arrangement to be envied !
Local government and some NHS positions are being lost ..BUT . It would be really interesting to see how many are re-engaged in a different capacity to do the same job . And, that is after they 'reluctantly' accept a remarkably generous redundancy package that the private sector cannot afford. Plus a pension arrangement to be envied ! dulon
  • Score: 3

7:36am Thu 24 Apr 14

A Different View says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Sulis76 Perhaps it isn't that the public servants don't get the huge salaries you feel they do but perhaps that the private sector (mainly CONservatives) pay less, and after the Hue & Cry from them over the intorduction of the minimum wage are quite happy to pay this and less when they can get away with it.
But it's quite a Myth that Council staff all get huge wages and perks. those who use their own cars for their work are entitled to claim mileage as do the County Councillors, who perhaps claim mileage to get to meetings, while the staff cannot claim to get to work from home.
And of course we now know that due to CONservative policies the jobs in the public services are no more secure than the private ZERO HOUR JOBS that the CONservatives support / promote.
And while we are told by the CONservatives that the OUTSOURCING OF CONTRACTS saves money the savings are usually made by cutting wages, and hours, and travel and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL it is being reported by CUTTING THE SERVICE GIVEN.
So if that is the world you wish for just hope you don't wind up on a ZERO HOUR contract, which means no job gaurantee, no income gaurantee, no Future gaurantee.
You couldn't be more wrong.

As someone who has been involved in outsourcing for years I can assure you that the majority of times when you take on a first generation outsource (i.e. has always previously been delivered in house), that normally the quality of the service goes up, there is often significant investment in IT and other areas by the outsourcer and the cost does go down.

Staff wages are protected under TUPE legislation so you cannot cut their pay and hours. The reductions are normally delivered through reducing the volume of staff required, normally through better management and better use of systems, as well as the benefits of economies of scale.

It really is getting pretty boring reading your political rants.... we all get that you don't rate the conservative party, the whole capitalisation thing is just childish. If you want to make your point there are better ways of doing it.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Sulis76 Perhaps it isn't that the public servants don't get the huge salaries you feel they do but perhaps that the private sector (mainly CONservatives) pay less, and after the Hue & Cry from them over the intorduction of the minimum wage are quite happy to pay this and less when they can get away with it. But it's quite a Myth that Council staff all get huge wages and perks. those who use their own cars for their work are entitled to claim mileage as do the County Councillors, who perhaps claim mileage to get to meetings, while the staff cannot claim to get to work from home. And of course we now know that due to CONservative policies the jobs in the public services are no more secure than the private ZERO HOUR JOBS that the CONservatives support / promote. And while we are told by the CONservatives that the OUTSOURCING OF CONTRACTS saves money the savings are usually made by cutting wages, and hours, and travel and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL it is being reported by CUTTING THE SERVICE GIVEN. So if that is the world you wish for just hope you don't wind up on a ZERO HOUR contract, which means no job gaurantee, no income gaurantee, no Future gaurantee.[/p][/quote]You couldn't be more wrong. As someone who has been involved in outsourcing for years I can assure you that the majority of times when you take on a first generation outsource (i.e. has always previously been delivered in house), that normally the quality of the service goes up, there is often significant investment in IT and other areas by the outsourcer and the cost does go down. Staff wages are protected under TUPE legislation so you cannot cut their pay and hours. The reductions are normally delivered through reducing the volume of staff required, normally through better management and better use of systems, as well as the benefits of economies of scale. It really is getting pretty boring reading your political rants.... we all get that you don't rate the conservative party, the whole capitalisation thing is just childish. If you want to make your point there are better ways of doing it. A Different View
  • Score: 3

7:46am Thu 24 Apr 14

A Different View says...

Should have added if services are being cut it is because the Council can't afford them therefore deliberately buys a lesser service than has been delivered previously. It has nothing to do with being outsourced.... not sure why that word has been capitalised either!
Should have added if services are being cut it is because the Council can't afford them therefore deliberately buys a lesser service than has been delivered previously. It has nothing to do with being outsourced.... not sure why that word has been capitalised either! A Different View
  • Score: 2

9:34am Thu 24 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me.
With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol.
If you want a debate bring it on. A different view.
I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me. With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol. If you want a debate bring it on. A different view. Jabbadad
  • Score: 3

8:53pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Handcart says...

So much hostility from people who think they know or even have the nerve to post 'I don't know if this is true but I heard...' and proceed to post rubbish. Parties my arse. The last time my dept bought me a cup of coffee was 2011 I reckon! I have worked in this local authority for 12 years. I am a graduate with a professional qualification on top, plus further specialist qualifications to deal with my area of work. Years of studying but I'm only two steps off the bottom rung, paying a reasonable 30k. But that is it. I cannot go up the salary scale even if I stay in this job until I retire in 22 years. So if there's gold plating on my pension, it ain't exactly 18 carat. The National Association of Pension Funds uses two ways to work out pension comparisons, which give either £260 more or £333 less to those with private pensions. They should know. 35 hrs a week was forced on us a few yers ago. Wages were cut proportionally. 3 days unpaid leave and docked wages to match was forced on us. I would rather pay more tax for decently funded public services but what does the governent do? It funds a housing mini-boom, allows wealthy people to save £30 tax-free, puts up VAT that hits the poorer hardest. And squeezes and squeezes until local government cannot properly function. It's you lot who'll be complaining about pot holes, poor quality care for your loved ones, no buses, no school transport, kids with nothing to do, library opening hours cut, etc etc. Council staff are not coping and the proposed cuts pile on the pressure and excuse central government washing their hands of local government - THAT is the problem. Sickness rates for staff in councils have rocketed (and no, it's not all on full pay - the first 3 days wages are docked and more later) and there is no end in sight. It will wither away and companies that do less yet make a PROFIT off our taxes will be let in. Striking is part of the battle for decent public-funded services in schools, on the streets, in care homes, hospitals and in County Hall so we can keep the unglamorous, complex, messy, unprofitable business of our lives running.
So much hostility from people who think they know or even have the nerve to post 'I don't know if this is true but I heard...' and proceed to post rubbish. Parties my arse. The last time my dept bought me a cup of coffee was 2011 I reckon! I have worked in this local authority for 12 years. I am a graduate with a professional qualification on top, plus further specialist qualifications to deal with my area of work. Years of studying but I'm only two steps off the bottom rung, paying a reasonable 30k. But that is it. I cannot go up the salary scale even if I stay in this job until I retire in 22 years. So if there's gold plating on my pension, it ain't exactly 18 carat. The National Association of Pension Funds uses two ways to work out pension comparisons, which give either £260 more or £333 less to those with private pensions. They should know. 35 hrs a week was forced on us a few yers ago. Wages were cut proportionally. 3 days unpaid leave and docked wages to match was forced on us. I would rather pay more tax for decently funded public services but what does the governent do? It funds a housing mini-boom, allows wealthy people to save £30 tax-free, puts up VAT that hits the poorer hardest. And squeezes and squeezes until local government cannot properly function. It's you lot who'll be complaining about pot holes, poor quality care for your loved ones, no buses, no school transport, kids with nothing to do, library opening hours cut, etc etc. Council staff are not coping and the proposed cuts pile on the pressure and excuse central government washing their hands of local government - THAT is the problem. Sickness rates for staff in councils have rocketed (and no, it's not all on full pay - the first 3 days wages are docked and more later) and there is no end in sight. It will wither away and companies that do less yet make a PROFIT off our taxes will be let in. Striking is part of the battle for decent public-funded services in schools, on the streets, in care homes, hospitals and in County Hall so we can keep the unglamorous, complex, messy, unprofitable business of our lives running. Handcart
  • Score: 10

9:07pm Thu 24 Apr 14

pinkfluff says...

Moltaire wrote:
Sulis76 wrote:
How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.
With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct.

From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k.

As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to.

As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too.

As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too.

So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering.
I think that you have been mislead. I worked for WCC for 8 years and I could tell you a very different story.
[quote][p][bold]Moltaire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sulis76[/bold] wrote: How dare council staff even have the nerve to consider going on strike. Sure, they've taken a hit and suffered over the past few years, but the end result is that so many council staff are still much better off that the majority of the private sector, what with their still higher salaries, generous pensions, excellent holiday entitlement and other perks and benefits. You'd have thought the last few years of pain would have seen a change in council staff's attitude and finally brought them in to the real world, but it's clear that this hasn't happened. They really still do live on a different planet.[/p][/quote]With the work I do, I have frequent meetings at County Hall so I feel I have an idea about council staff's pay, benefits, conditions etc and I can more or less say that what you describe is more or less correct. From what I deduce, the average salary is around £25k to £30k per year, with the directors on about £120k, the department heads on around £80k and the section managers below them on around £50k. Then there are team leaders below the section managers and from what I gather, their salaries range from £30k to £35k. As for holidays, staff have 33 days off a year as annual leave (3 days of which are unpaid but they still have high salaries to make up for that loss) while they can have up to 2 days a month off as flex time, which means that's another possible 24 days away from the office per year. So, in total, staff can be away from work 57 days a year. And that's before Bank Holidays and time of in lieu which they're also entitled to. As for perks and benefits, staff get paid mileage for using their own cars for business. I think the rate is 50p per mile. They can also claim parking charges and the costs of having a meal when they're out and about on business (not sure what the details are of this though). And I don't know if this is true or not, but many Christmas dos are paid for by the council too. As for working conditions, their so-called 'core hours' have been abolished which means staff no longer have to work between set hours a day. They can now work how they see fit each day, as long as they do their 35 hours a week. And that is 35 hours per week, compared to the usual 37 hours or more a week in many other businesses and organisations. And on some of the occasions I have had meetings in their offices, the few staff that are sat at their desks are either on the internet, reading newspapers/magazines or just chin-wagging and having a laugh generally, while many can often be found in their canteen. Depending on their jobs, staff are free to work from home. Many staff have laptops and mobile phones issued too. So all in all, from what I've experienced, council staff aren't exactly suffering.[/p][/quote]I think that you have been mislead. I worked for WCC for 8 years and I could tell you a very different story. pinkfluff
  • Score: 6

9:08pm Thu 24 Apr 14

darren3o says...

Handcart wrote:
So much hostility from people who think they know or even have the nerve to post 'I don't know if this is true but I heard...' and proceed to post rubbish. Parties my arse. The last time my dept bought me a cup of coffee was 2011 I reckon! I have worked in this local authority for 12 years. I am a graduate with a professional qualification on top, plus further specialist qualifications to deal with my area of work. Years of studying but I'm only two steps off the bottom rung, paying a reasonable 30k. But that is it. I cannot go up the salary scale even if I stay in this job until I retire in 22 years. So if there's gold plating on my pension, it ain't exactly 18 carat. The National Association of Pension Funds uses two ways to work out pension comparisons, which give either £260 more or £333 less to those with private pensions. They should know. 35 hrs a week was forced on us a few yers ago. Wages were cut proportionally. 3 days unpaid leave and docked wages to match was forced on us. I would rather pay more tax for decently funded public services but what does the governent do? It funds a housing mini-boom, allows wealthy people to save £30 tax-free, puts up VAT that hits the poorer hardest. And squeezes and squeezes until local government cannot properly function. It's you lot who'll be complaining about pot holes, poor quality care for your loved ones, no buses, no school transport, kids with nothing to do, library opening hours cut, etc etc. Council staff are not coping and the proposed cuts pile on the pressure and excuse central government washing their hands of local government - THAT is the problem. Sickness rates for staff in councils have rocketed (and no, it's not all on full pay - the first 3 days wages are docked and more later) and there is no end in sight. It will wither away and companies that do less yet make a PROFIT off our taxes will be let in. Striking is part of the battle for decent public-funded services in schools, on the streets, in care homes, hospitals and in County Hall so we can keep the unglamorous, complex, messy, unprofitable business of our lives running.
welcome to the private sector life.people can not afford to pay more taxes.You get paid after 3 days off,99% of companies pay nothing.you have had a good run in the public sector.these days are over ,we can't afford it anymore.Come and have a look in the real world
[quote][p][bold]Handcart[/bold] wrote: So much hostility from people who think they know or even have the nerve to post 'I don't know if this is true but I heard...' and proceed to post rubbish. Parties my arse. The last time my dept bought me a cup of coffee was 2011 I reckon! I have worked in this local authority for 12 years. I am a graduate with a professional qualification on top, plus further specialist qualifications to deal with my area of work. Years of studying but I'm only two steps off the bottom rung, paying a reasonable 30k. But that is it. I cannot go up the salary scale even if I stay in this job until I retire in 22 years. So if there's gold plating on my pension, it ain't exactly 18 carat. The National Association of Pension Funds uses two ways to work out pension comparisons, which give either £260 more or £333 less to those with private pensions. They should know. 35 hrs a week was forced on us a few yers ago. Wages were cut proportionally. 3 days unpaid leave and docked wages to match was forced on us. I would rather pay more tax for decently funded public services but what does the governent do? It funds a housing mini-boom, allows wealthy people to save £30 tax-free, puts up VAT that hits the poorer hardest. And squeezes and squeezes until local government cannot properly function. It's you lot who'll be complaining about pot holes, poor quality care for your loved ones, no buses, no school transport, kids with nothing to do, library opening hours cut, etc etc. Council staff are not coping and the proposed cuts pile on the pressure and excuse central government washing their hands of local government - THAT is the problem. Sickness rates for staff in councils have rocketed (and no, it's not all on full pay - the first 3 days wages are docked and more later) and there is no end in sight. It will wither away and companies that do less yet make a PROFIT off our taxes will be let in. Striking is part of the battle for decent public-funded services in schools, on the streets, in care homes, hospitals and in County Hall so we can keep the unglamorous, complex, messy, unprofitable business of our lives running.[/p][/quote]welcome to the private sector life.people can not afford to pay more taxes.You get paid after 3 days off,99% of companies pay nothing.you have had a good run in the public sector.these days are over ,we can't afford it anymore.Come and have a look in the real world darren3o
  • Score: -7

10:18pm Thu 24 Apr 14

A Different View says...

Jabbadad wrote:
I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me.
With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol.
If you want a debate bring it on. A different view.
Read the post again, you are attributing a different posters statements with my own. Not once have I defended any political party, nor will i do so.

Not once have I stated anything about hours, working patterns, parties, time in canteen or Councillors. So if you are going to adopt a passive aggressive stance I suggest you do so against the person who actually made those comments.

I wouldn't know any of those things as I don't spend time at County Hall, but I have spent a lot of time in local authorities and contractual elements tend to be the same.

So you want a generic view I can tell you this....... for the lower positions (admin, transnational finance, etc) salaries at local authorities are about the same as in the private sector (sub £20k), and this was really what the Unions were talking about in referencing the £1 pay rise having an impact on lower paid staff. The difference is that they get very high pension contributions, normally around 3 to 4 times what you will get in equivalent positions in the private sector, they get more holiday, flexi time and higher exit package terms if they are made redundant than the equivalent roles elsewhere. Handcart I appreciate it may not feel like the pension is gold plated but I would suggest it might be that you may not realise how bad they typically are in the private sector.

Handcart was right though, in that technical and professional skills are not recognised in most Councils and grades, and therefore salaries, are based on the out of date approach of how many people you manage, therefore people in Legal, IT and similar roles who are often paid less than in the private sector, but then less is expected of them in terms of out of hours working etc.. Before anyone reacts to that, look at the workload and expectations of an IT worker on £30k in the Council, and the expectations for someone on a similar or slightly higher wage in an IT service provider, who will be expected to work late regularly to get jobs for clients finished, under pressure over hitting project timeframes, being pushed on utilisation rates etc..

The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service. This is not a critisism of a Council in particular and is often true for internal functions in a range of business in the public and private sector.

I have no idea why you have so much of an issue with it as every company does it. Do you think builders make their own bricks, car manufacturers produce their own sheet metal? Surely as a resident you want the council budgets to go on providing the core services they are there to deliver, like adult and children's social care, not on running back office services?

Read up on TUPE legislation, you cannot make changes to people's contracts simply because they are outsourced, there has to be an economic, technical or organisational reason, the same as with any other employer, or any action any local authority could put through to meet the declining budgets. If anyone thinks that has not been the case they should take legal action as the legislation is very clear.

If you want a debate, bring it on as I can assure you I know what I am talking about and don't let petty party politics and outdated preconceptions get in the way.

So Jabbadad, do you think spending £8m on pay rises for Council staff is a good idea as the unions have suggested?
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me. With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol. If you want a debate bring it on. A different view.[/p][/quote]Read the post again, you are attributing a different posters statements with my own. Not once have I defended any political party, nor will i do so. Not once have I stated anything about hours, working patterns, parties, time in canteen or Councillors. So if you are going to adopt a passive aggressive stance I suggest you do so against the person who actually made those comments. I wouldn't know any of those things as I don't spend time at County Hall, but I have spent a lot of time in local authorities and contractual elements tend to be the same. So you want a generic view I can tell you this....... for the lower positions (admin, transnational finance, etc) salaries at local authorities are about the same as in the private sector (sub £20k), and this was really what the Unions were talking about in referencing the £1 pay rise having an impact on lower paid staff. The difference is that they get very high pension contributions, normally around 3 to 4 times what you will get in equivalent positions in the private sector, they get more holiday, flexi time and higher exit package terms if they are made redundant than the equivalent roles elsewhere. Handcart I appreciate it may not feel like the pension is gold plated but I would suggest it might be that you may not realise how bad they typically are in the private sector. Handcart was right though, in that technical and professional skills are not recognised in most Councils and grades, and therefore salaries, are based on the out of date approach of how many people you manage, therefore people in Legal, IT and similar roles who are often paid less than in the private sector, but then less is expected of them in terms of out of hours working etc.. Before anyone reacts to that, look at the workload and expectations of an IT worker on £30k in the Council, and the expectations for someone on a similar or slightly higher wage in an IT service provider, who will be expected to work late regularly to get jobs for clients finished, under pressure over hitting project timeframes, being pushed on utilisation rates etc.. The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service. This is not a critisism of a Council in particular and is often true for internal functions in a range of business in the public and private sector. I have no idea why you have so much of an issue with it as every company does it. Do you think builders make their own bricks, car manufacturers produce their own sheet metal? Surely as a resident you want the council budgets to go on providing the core services they are there to deliver, like adult and children's social care, not on running back office services? Read up on TUPE legislation, you cannot make changes to people's contracts simply because they are outsourced, there has to be an economic, technical or organisational reason, the same as with any other employer, or any action any local authority could put through to meet the declining budgets. If anyone thinks that has not been the case they should take legal action as the legislation is very clear. If you want a debate, bring it on as I can assure you I know what I am talking about and don't let petty party politics and outdated preconceptions get in the way. So Jabbadad, do you think spending £8m on pay rises for Council staff is a good idea as the unions have suggested? A Different View
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Fri 25 Apr 14

DonkeyFace says...

I have worked at the County Council for 5 years now. I have always been confused by some people's attitudes towards WCC Employees. Of course some of them are overpaid and under-worked but that is a minority, staff that work on the ground like myself work very hard and personally I would be paid much more if I went into the private sector. But I am passionate about my job and the people I help and support. I have just survived my second round of redundancy in two years- it is soul destroying and demoralising. So I can understand why people react, its peoples careers, livelihood and ability to pay the bills and support a family at risk.

That aside I am extremely grateful that I still have a job for the next 12 months doing what I love and making difference to the lives of young people in Worcestershire.
I have worked at the County Council for 5 years now. I have always been confused by some people's attitudes towards WCC Employees. Of course some of them are overpaid and under-worked but that is a minority, staff that work on the ground like myself work very hard and personally I would be paid much more if I went into the private sector. But I am passionate about my job and the people I help and support. I have just survived my second round of redundancy in two years- it is soul destroying and demoralising. So I can understand why people react, its peoples careers, livelihood and ability to pay the bills and support a family at risk. That aside I am extremely grateful that I still have a job for the next 12 months doing what I love and making difference to the lives of young people in Worcestershire. DonkeyFace
  • Score: 15

2:21pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Well said it's about time that County Council staff and those who have just lost their livelyhods. came out and silenced the ill informed critics on here.

Well Done
Well said it's about time that County Council staff and those who have just lost their livelyhods. came out and silenced the ill informed critics on here. Well Done Jabbadad
  • Score: 4

6:43pm Fri 25 Apr 14

pinkfluff says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Well said it's about time that County Council staff and those who have just lost their livelyhods. came out and silenced the ill informed critics on here.

Well Done
We would but it's a bit risky to do so. I certainly don't feel comfortable elaborating on my previous comment. I fear any possible repercussions.......
feel like I've said too much already.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Well said it's about time that County Council staff and those who have just lost their livelyhods. came out and silenced the ill informed critics on here. Well Done[/p][/quote]We would but it's a bit risky to do so. I certainly don't feel comfortable elaborating on my previous comment. I fear any possible repercussions....... feel like I've said too much already. pinkfluff
  • Score: 2

9:17pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

You should speak out on here after all we use pen names, and you will get support from those who are unaware of what these CONservatives are really doing, and silence those who are totally ill-informed.
You should speak out on here after all we use pen names, and you will get support from those who are unaware of what these CONservatives are really doing, and silence those who are totally ill-informed. Jabbadad
  • Score: 2

6:07pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Anna_Key says...

A Different View wrote:
Jabbadad wrote:
I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me.
With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol.
If you want a debate bring it on. A different view.
Read the post again, you are attributing a different posters statements with my own. Not once have I defended any political party, nor will i do so.

Not once have I stated anything about hours, working patterns, parties, time in canteen or Councillors. So if you are going to adopt a passive aggressive stance I suggest you do so against the person who actually made those comments.

I wouldn't know any of those things as I don't spend time at County Hall, but I have spent a lot of time in local authorities and contractual elements tend to be the same.

So you want a generic view I can tell you this....... for the lower positions (admin, transnational finance, etc) salaries at local authorities are about the same as in the private sector (sub £20k), and this was really what the Unions were talking about in referencing the £1 pay rise having an impact on lower paid staff. The difference is that they get very high pension contributions, normally around 3 to 4 times what you will get in equivalent positions in the private sector, they get more holiday, flexi time and higher exit package terms if they are made redundant than the equivalent roles elsewhere. Handcart I appreciate it may not feel like the pension is gold plated but I would suggest it might be that you may not realise how bad they typically are in the private sector.

Handcart was right though, in that technical and professional skills are not recognised in most Councils and grades, and therefore salaries, are based on the out of date approach of how many people you manage, therefore people in Legal, IT and similar roles who are often paid less than in the private sector, but then less is expected of them in terms of out of hours working etc.. Before anyone reacts to that, look at the workload and expectations of an IT worker on £30k in the Council, and the expectations for someone on a similar or slightly higher wage in an IT service provider, who will be expected to work late regularly to get jobs for clients finished, under pressure over hitting project timeframes, being pushed on utilisation rates etc..

The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service. This is not a critisism of a Council in particular and is often true for internal functions in a range of business in the public and private sector.

I have no idea why you have so much of an issue with it as every company does it. Do you think builders make their own bricks, car manufacturers produce their own sheet metal? Surely as a resident you want the council budgets to go on providing the core services they are there to deliver, like adult and children's social care, not on running back office services?

Read up on TUPE legislation, you cannot make changes to people's contracts simply because they are outsourced, there has to be an economic, technical or organisational reason, the same as with any other employer, or any action any local authority could put through to meet the declining budgets. If anyone thinks that has not been the case they should take legal action as the legislation is very clear.

If you want a debate, bring it on as I can assure you I know what I am talking about and don't let petty party politics and outdated preconceptions get in the way.

So Jabbadad, do you think spending £8m on pay rises for Council staff is a good idea as the unions have suggested?
A Different View – your purported knowledge about IT workers at WCC proves the point that I have always suspected – anyone involved in the outsourcing industry can convince people they know what they are talking about by making generalizations with no specific knowledge necessary. I wonder how many outsources contracts are won in this manner?

IT workers at WCC are expected to provide and support highly available back office systems with 99.99% uptime. If a major system fails it is expected that it will be fixed, no matter what hours are worked, so just like the private sector, you don’t go home until it’s fixed…….

IT projects are run under a PRINCE methodology, so milestones are met and can be compared with any private sector IT project.

IT Support is provided within an ITIL framework, so SLA’s and OLA’s are set and regularly checked with management reports.

One last point, there aren’t many IT workers that earn 30K within WCC – most of the senior IT staff that would have earned anywhere near this rate have left for better paid jobs within the private sector.

Regards

Anna
[quote][p][bold]A Different View[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: I was getting interested in your posting A different View until you attempted to defend the CONservatives , and all was lost. Also I spend many hours at County Hall (as a volunteer) so the postings about staff pleasing themselves over hours , work load , free parties , always in the canteen, which is a restaurant, are a load of rubbish. And I make no apologies to you as a Tory or anyone for posting information against the County Councillors since they are in power and they are making the cuts. And I rarely post without the factual information in front of me. With outsourcing there are hundreds of reports exposing the cuts in hours and the service being provided, I suppose you disclaim 15 minute calls, staff travelling in their own time between visits and using their own petrol. If you want a debate bring it on. A different view.[/p][/quote]Read the post again, you are attributing a different posters statements with my own. Not once have I defended any political party, nor will i do so. Not once have I stated anything about hours, working patterns, parties, time in canteen or Councillors. So if you are going to adopt a passive aggressive stance I suggest you do so against the person who actually made those comments. I wouldn't know any of those things as I don't spend time at County Hall, but I have spent a lot of time in local authorities and contractual elements tend to be the same. So you want a generic view I can tell you this....... for the lower positions (admin, transnational finance, etc) salaries at local authorities are about the same as in the private sector (sub £20k), and this was really what the Unions were talking about in referencing the £1 pay rise having an impact on lower paid staff. The difference is that they get very high pension contributions, normally around 3 to 4 times what you will get in equivalent positions in the private sector, they get more holiday, flexi time and higher exit package terms if they are made redundant than the equivalent roles elsewhere. Handcart I appreciate it may not feel like the pension is gold plated but I would suggest it might be that you may not realise how bad they typically are in the private sector. Handcart was right though, in that technical and professional skills are not recognised in most Councils and grades, and therefore salaries, are based on the out of date approach of how many people you manage, therefore people in Legal, IT and similar roles who are often paid less than in the private sector, but then less is expected of them in terms of out of hours working etc.. Before anyone reacts to that, look at the workload and expectations of an IT worker on £30k in the Council, and the expectations for someone on a similar or slightly higher wage in an IT service provider, who will be expected to work late regularly to get jobs for clients finished, under pressure over hitting project timeframes, being pushed on utilisation rates etc.. The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service. This is not a critisism of a Council in particular and is often true for internal functions in a range of business in the public and private sector. I have no idea why you have so much of an issue with it as every company does it. Do you think builders make their own bricks, car manufacturers produce their own sheet metal? Surely as a resident you want the council budgets to go on providing the core services they are there to deliver, like adult and children's social care, not on running back office services? Read up on TUPE legislation, you cannot make changes to people's contracts simply because they are outsourced, there has to be an economic, technical or organisational reason, the same as with any other employer, or any action any local authority could put through to meet the declining budgets. If anyone thinks that has not been the case they should take legal action as the legislation is very clear. If you want a debate, bring it on as I can assure you I know what I am talking about and don't let petty party politics and outdated preconceptions get in the way. So Jabbadad, do you think spending £8m on pay rises for Council staff is a good idea as the unions have suggested?[/p][/quote]A Different View – your purported knowledge about IT workers at WCC proves the point that I have always suspected – anyone involved in the outsourcing industry can convince people they know what they are talking about by making generalizations with no specific knowledge necessary. I wonder how many outsources contracts are won in this manner? IT workers at WCC are expected to provide and support highly available back office systems with 99.99% uptime. If a major system fails it is expected that it will be fixed, no matter what hours are worked, so just like the private sector, you don’t go home until it’s fixed……. IT projects are run under a PRINCE methodology, so milestones are met and can be compared with any private sector IT project. IT Support is provided within an ITIL framework, so SLA’s and OLA’s are set and regularly checked with management reports. One last point, there aren’t many IT workers that earn 30K within WCC – most of the senior IT staff that would have earned anywhere near this rate have left for better paid jobs within the private sector. Regards Anna Anna_Key
  • Score: 6

1:48pm Sun 27 Apr 14

pinkfluff says...

Jabbadad wrote:
You should speak out on here after all we use pen names, and you will get support from those who are unaware of what these CONservatives are really doing, and silence those who are totally ill-informed.
Pen names are not always that anonymous and I have a family to feed sorry.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: You should speak out on here after all we use pen names, and you will get support from those who are unaware of what these CONservatives are really doing, and silence those who are totally ill-informed.[/p][/quote]Pen names are not always that anonymous and I have a family to feed sorry. pinkfluff
  • Score: 1

2:19pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

You have my full support on that Pinkfluff. We can never risk our own futures.
Even when they say that whistle blowers are protected, wouldn't trust that one as far as I cant throw anything these days.
You have my full support on that Pinkfluff. We can never risk our own futures. Even when they say that whistle blowers are protected, wouldn't trust that one as far as I cant throw anything these days. Jabbadad
  • Score: 2

5:11pm Sun 27 Apr 14

darren3o says...

Jabbadad wrote:
You have my full support on that Pinkfluff. We can never risk our own futures.
Even when they say that whistle blowers are protected, wouldn't trust that one as far as I cant throw anything these days.
thats all your talking about your futures,not the citys,easy street over ,than god
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: You have my full support on that Pinkfluff. We can never risk our own futures. Even when they say that whistle blowers are protected, wouldn't trust that one as far as I cant throw anything these days.[/p][/quote]thats all your talking about your futures,not the citys,easy street over ,than god darren3o
  • Score: -3

3:04pm Mon 28 Apr 14

green49 says...

Having read ALL of the posts on here, Handcart and Jabbadad are the main ones who know what is right and i only post from knowledge and experience,, as for the rest they have NO idea at all about the conditions most the working staff have to put up with Most are on below 15,000 a year and over the last couple of years have had that reduced by shorter hours and cuts,, i do not work for the council but am involved in what is run by them and its cutting everything, dont believe what Hardman and Gerathy tell you its LIES after LIES, if the ones on here who always think Council employees get perks and all the other rubbish they talk about then why not try get a job there? they are taking on people, As for the constant ***p about Private service being better that is always banded about i can tell you all, some of the private service that have taken over services have been sacked as they are too expensive and no good at the job, THAT has cost the taxpayer again as the whole service has to be reviewed again.

Some posts on here are just windups and that gets no one anywhere,Pherhaps they need to get out more into the real world as someone on here puts it.
Having read ALL of the posts on here, Handcart and Jabbadad are the main ones who know what is right and i only post from knowledge and experience,, as for the rest they have NO idea at all about the conditions most the working staff have to put up with Most are on below 15,000 a year and over the last couple of years have had that reduced by shorter hours and cuts,, i do not work for the council but am involved in what is run by them and its cutting everything, dont believe what Hardman and Gerathy tell you its LIES after LIES, if the ones on here who always think Council employees get perks and all the other rubbish they talk about then why not try get a job there? they are taking on people, As for the constant ***p about Private service being better that is always banded about i can tell you all, some of the private service that have taken over services have been sacked as they are too expensive and no good at the job, THAT has cost the taxpayer again as the whole service has to be reviewed again. Some posts on here are just windups and that gets no one anywhere,Pherhaps they need to get out more into the real world as someone on here puts it. green49
  • Score: 2

4:07pm Mon 28 Apr 14

darren3o says...

green49 wrote:
Having read ALL of the posts on here, Handcart and Jabbadad are the main ones who know what is right and i only post from knowledge and experience,, as for the rest they have NO idea at all about the conditions most the working staff have to put up with Most are on below 15,000 a year and over the last couple of years have had that reduced by shorter hours and cuts,, i do not work for the council but am involved in what is run by them and its cutting everything, dont believe what Hardman and Gerathy tell you its LIES after LIES, if the ones on here who always think Council employees get perks and all the other rubbish they talk about then why not try get a job there? they are taking on people, As for the constant ***p about Private service being better that is always banded about i can tell you all, some of the private service that have taken over services have been sacked as they are too expensive and no good at the job, THAT has cost the taxpayer again as the whole service has to be reviewed again.

Some posts on here are just windups and that gets no one anywhere,Pherhaps they need to get out more into the real world as someone on here puts it.
i think a lot of these people are going to see the real world over the next year or so.Come back to me then i have done some work for the county hall.And i have seen alot going on and where alot of money has been wasted.I dont want to see no one lose there jobs i have been there.But who is going to pay for it.
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: Having read ALL of the posts on here, Handcart and Jabbadad are the main ones who know what is right and i only post from knowledge and experience,, as for the rest they have NO idea at all about the conditions most the working staff have to put up with Most are on below 15,000 a year and over the last couple of years have had that reduced by shorter hours and cuts,, i do not work for the council but am involved in what is run by them and its cutting everything, dont believe what Hardman and Gerathy tell you its LIES after LIES, if the ones on here who always think Council employees get perks and all the other rubbish they talk about then why not try get a job there? they are taking on people, As for the constant ***p about Private service being better that is always banded about i can tell you all, some of the private service that have taken over services have been sacked as they are too expensive and no good at the job, THAT has cost the taxpayer again as the whole service has to be reviewed again. Some posts on here are just windups and that gets no one anywhere,Pherhaps they need to get out more into the real world as someone on here puts it.[/p][/quote]i think a lot of these people are going to see the real world over the next year or so.Come back to me then i have done some work for the county hall.And i have seen alot going on and where alot of money has been wasted.I dont want to see no one lose there jobs i have been there.But who is going to pay for it. darren3o
  • Score: 0

7:18am Tue 29 Apr 14

green49 says...

It seems to me darren30 you like many others on here have a distinct predjudice against council staff workers, they only follow what they are told, its the so called management and above who need sorting out, there are far too many on high money who have little or no experience in the work they are supposed to oversee, i know i see it all the time, for example the guy who came from the NHS, Harling who was taken on to cover care, he knows nothing, he talks good but has made so many ******s yet he is still there, Hardman got rid of one of the most eminent experienced man in the country to employ this guy,(because Hardman didnt like being told he should not be cutting back certain things) its also in most other departments, IF anyone thinks the jobs at staff level are full of perks, outrageous pay and many other things then why havent they got a job there? Jealousey, envy, misconception or just plain ignorance rears its head here and also some people think that they can do what someone else does better, as i said before my work involves being involved with the council work and so far Privatisation has been a disaster in the care department and it is going to get 100% worse in the next year or so, so come back to me later and see if i am not wrong.
It seems to me darren30 you like many others on here have a distinct predjudice against council staff workers, they only follow what they are told, its the so called management and above who need sorting out, there are far too many on high money who have little or no experience in the work they are supposed to oversee, i know i see it all the time, for example the guy who came from the NHS, Harling who was taken on to cover care, he knows nothing, he talks good but has made so many ******s yet he is still there, Hardman got rid of one of the most eminent experienced man in the country to employ this guy,(because Hardman didnt like being told he should not be cutting back certain things) its also in most other departments, IF anyone thinks the jobs at staff level are full of perks, outrageous pay and many other things then why havent they got a job there? Jealousey, envy, misconception or just plain ignorance rears its head here and also some people think that they can do what someone else does better, as i said before my work involves being involved with the council work and so far Privatisation has been a disaster in the care department and it is going to get 100% worse in the next year or so, so come back to me later and see if i am not wrong. green49
  • Score: 2

3:42pm Tue 29 Apr 14

green49 says...

anna_key The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service.

I dont know if you work for WCC but i hotly dispute that if you do, it maybe the ones you may have been involved may be better but by how much and at what cost to the taxpayer??? not in my experience, i see it everyday and theres more cuts to come from this council but they wont admit it,

Some not all private sector companies are bad at the job but most are in the care sector, you should also check the claim that contracts cannot be changed just because its outsourced, think if you dig deep enough thats already happened or is going to happen.
anna_key The point I made, which I know as a fact, is that in every contract I have been involved with outsourcing has saved money and delivered a better quality of service. I dont know if you work for WCC but i hotly dispute that if you do, it maybe the ones you may have been involved may be better but by how much and at what cost to the taxpayer??? not in my experience, i see it everyday and theres more cuts to come from this council but they wont admit it, Some not all private sector companies are bad at the job but most are in the care sector, you should also check the claim that contracts cannot be changed just because its outsourced, think if you dig deep enough thats already happened or is going to happen. green49
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Green49 the man you refer to in your previous post must be Eddie Clarke who was the ultimate professional gentleman, hugely experienced.
Older people were always able to meet with him. And sometimes when there were difficult discussions coming along, he would include the Oldies, which made bad news easier to handle.
And as previously said he did not retire he was sacked, and I had that from Eddie himself.
Dr Harling is quite different, the pathway he wishes to take older and vulnerable people along seem to have strong political inferences, and pleases Coun Hardman, since of course Cuts Come First with the CONservatives.
Green49 the man you refer to in your previous post must be Eddie Clarke who was the ultimate professional gentleman, hugely experienced. Older people were always able to meet with him. And sometimes when there were difficult discussions coming along, he would include the Oldies, which made bad news easier to handle. And as previously said he did not retire he was sacked, and I had that from Eddie himself. Dr Harling is quite different, the pathway he wishes to take older and vulnerable people along seem to have strong political inferences, and pleases Coun Hardman, since of course Cuts Come First with the CONservatives. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

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