There certainly seems to be more life in the ‘Passport for Life’ saga than there is in the now defunct ‘Passport for Life’ long service award itself which has been withdrawn from ex-Wirral Council employees who had more than 25 years service.
Apparently the original offer to former Council employees involved three choices…
• Love2Shop Gift Card (vouchers)
• A cheque to the full value of the award (less statutory deductions)
• A ‘Passport for Life’
Whilst we would have thought a lifetime’s worth of counselling would be more appropriate for those who’d spent a quarter of a century working for Wirral Council it is not clear how ‘A Passport for Life’ is able to become ‘A Passport for as Long as Wirral Council Feels Like It” . We would suggest that unless there was something in the terms and conditions when the ‘Passport for Life’ was magnanimously “gifted” that Wirral Council could be on dodgy legal ground . So no change there then!.
We’re just wondering whether those who chose the vouchers are being asked to traipse back to some of the dreariest shops on the high street to return their gifts?. Or those who trousered the cheque will be asked to empty their pockets and look down the back of the sofa to help out the cash-strapped Council?.
We think it is a salutary lesson for all those Wirral Council staff past and present who ever thought they were valued as public servants. It seems to use that they’re rather like their “free” gifts – an economic unit and a disposable commodity.
Once again the back of a fagpacket financial planning which also characterised the Girtrell Court closure proposal seems to be at work during the making of this decision.
The faulty logic behind the projected £100,000 “saving” seems to be concomitant on 400+ former employees turning round and saying :
We hear our loyal and generous former employer is having financial problems . So we don’t mind chipping in £15 a month out of our pensions to make sure Wirral Council can make up the shortfall caused by the Wallasey Town Hall petty cash thief or to enable them to pay-off another failure of a senior manager or to enable council officials to fly off to some far flung destination on a wing and a prayer.
What also hasn’t been factored into the projected “saving” is the administration costs, officer time and reputational damage. We understand that a letter is due from one of the Super-Duper Directors clarifying the long service award situation now that they’ve returned from their holidays!. They just don’t get it do they?.
We look forward to receiving a copy and commenting on the tortuous explanation for this latest debacle.