A Message From Burgess

Hello Lord Leaky here, word reaches us that Council Leader Graham Burgess-Meredith has written to staff to discuss changes in terms and conditions and a period of “consultation”…Oh dear, that sounds rather like a vote of confidence from Roman Abramovitch doesn’ it!  But cuts have to be made, after all its a costly affair paying off Heads of Law and the like…  One cannot help but wonder what grades the Department of Spin are currently on? They aren’t very good are they? We at Leaky Towers would certainly look at getting shut of them and pronto!

  This missive (below) comes in the wake of an announcement of the creation of the post of “SUPER DIRECTOR” on a salary of £127,000 or thereabouts, but fear not council staff you have the might of the Union to back you up, replete with “Just For Men” perma-tanned, Cuban heeled reps who will happily sell you down the river for the quiet life and a nice round of golf.

 Once again, the words of Martin Niemöller remain as prescient and well chosen as ever (See HERE)

Here’s what Burgess has to say – he certainly is no joker

From: Burgess, Graham
Sent: 30 October 2012 15:31
Subject: Message from the Chief Executive

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to let you know that I will shortly be publishing a report, that will go to the Council’s Cabinet on the 8th of November, that requests that I be given the Authority to begin formal consultations with the Trade Unions and all staff on some proposed changes that will affect you. I would like to stress that this report seeks to give me the ability to consult and no decisions have been made.

You know that we face an unprecedented budget challenge – we have no choice but to reduce our net budget by £100 million – this includes a projected deficit for next year of £39 million. Given that over 70% of the Council’s revenue budget is devoted to the cost of employing our staff, tough choices need to be made.

Proposed changes include a significant reduction in the cost of senior management, changes to your terms and conditions and potential changes to the manner in which we deliver our services. These are as follows:

1) Firstly we are seeking to reduce our management costs by significantly reducing the number of managers across the Council and so ensuring we have an appropriate structure moving forward.

2) Options need to be considered with the aim of reducing the costs of our enhanced discretionary severance scheme. The aim would be to seek ways to reduce the costs, which will in turn protect more jobs and services, while keeping an enhanced scheme to reduce the potential impact on the very lowest paid. In the event that the scheme is modified any staff leaving after a new scheme comes into effect have to leave on the new terms, regardless of when the dismissal process began. In order to manage expectations, I am recomending that the current voluntary redundancy scheme is suspended immediately.

3) You are currently employed on national and local conditions of service. The local conditions of service are subject to local agreement through a collective agreement with recognised Trade Unions. I wish to work with the Trade Unions and all staff to consider options to reduce the cost of local terms and conditions. This will enable the Council to reduce the potential numbers of job losses that we face.

4) Finally, on the 9th of November I will publish a range of officer options for budget savings. While no decisions have yet been made on the future of services, any options that are being considered that potentially impact on staff require consultation at the earliest possible stage.

I will also be exploring and consulting on options that will enable the Council to implement job evaluation for those staff on grade principal officer (earning over £27,849 and above). This will enable us, as promised, to implement a legally fair, affordable and sustainable pay policy at this level.

My hope is that by entering into constructive discussions with the Trade Unions and all staff we will be able to do all we can to mitigate the impact of the budget reductions we need to make and save as many jobs and front line services as is possible.

My pledge to you is that over the coming days, weeks and months that I will ensure you are kept fully informed of any developments so that you hear about them first from me. The Council Leader and I will also be meeting with as many of you as possible so you have the opportunity to talk to us directly about any concerns that you have.

Best wishes

Graham Burgess

Chief Executive

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