Author Topic: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed  (Read 11703 times)

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Offline Scott Thunes

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Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« on: October 28, 2011, 09:30:26 PM »
Seemingly Gavin Jones (ex CPSA steward and picket line veteran from a previous life) has decided enough is enough and is trying again to remove UNISON's influence at SBC.

The proposed budget (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=5284&T=10&J=3) page 46 says:

Replace Council funding support for Union posts with support to a new staff forum
to represent employee views in the context of Stronger Together
(proposed saving £29K)

Been tried before and stopped through legal challenge from UNISON's solicitors. Why are they persisting in such vexatious attempts? It costs yet more time and money, which SBC does not have. Oh, apart from £15 million for a bloody car park and Christ knows how much to piss for Union Square as Muse have got cold feet.

Why are Corporate Board so thick? Do they not realise that actually, a strong unionised presence is actually beneficial to both employee and employer?

Oh silly me...

So, a brainwashed 'Stronger Together' staff panel to placate the grunts eh? How impartial. Scary thing is, a lot of staff actually buy into the corporate bollocks spun from the centre, and the Day of the Triffids will be soon among them :-O


Oooooh Matron!

Offline Mart

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 09:49:48 PM »
Doesn't matter what you think of unions either.

You think they'd know better than to try and unllaterally remove a legal right. That'd show a very poor grasp,

Mind you, even as I am typing that ......
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Martin Wicks

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 05:59:25 PM »
"Stronger Together"? By taking away the right of union officers to have the time to organise and represent thousands of union members. It just goes to show what a load of cobblers all this One Swindon stuff is.

Doesn't Mr Bluh think that union members should be allowed some organisation? What a contemptuous bunch of small minded people.

Perhaps one of the Tory Councillors who frequents this site can explain to us the rationale of this proposal.

Offline Mart

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 07:09:18 PM »
I think that there is a loophole in the giving up time for Union reps to do their thing, representation is still protected but the giving up time aspect is bendy.

Probably something else gone west cos some gits took the wee wee.

Don't get me wrong, I am a union member, but I have their communications to me classified as spam.

This was a course of action I was forced to take after they repeatedly urged me to vote for a specific party and used very poor grammar in their increasingly strident instructions.

Politics has been ruined by politicians and Unions have been ruined by, well, politicians who use the union as a kind of ersatz political party until a nomination comes along and they have saved enough to take the pay cut.

Yes, you Mr Johnson, amongst others.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 07:28:14 PM »
Martin,
it was reported in the press recently, when this subject came up, that the police service, alone, pays out each year a total of nearly 7 million pounds, so that union staff can sit in an office and do their union work and nothing else.  That money could put a lot more policemen and women on the  beat, so can you justify that, surely if those people have the need to provide the union services, then the unions, instead of giving all their money to the political party of their choice, they should pay for these people themselves, after all they are only doing union work..

Offline Martin Wicks

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 09:58:41 PM »
And what about the many unions not affiliated to the Labour Party?

These are rank and file members who are elected to these positions. You cannot organise nearly 3,000 people without somebody on full-time release. It's not a job that can be done in your spare time.

We are talking about SBC here not the police. And we are talking about one post (shared part-time between two people). Do you agree with SBC?

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 10:27:54 PM »
Quote
Doesn't Mr Bluh think that union members should be allowed some organisation? What a contemptuous bunch of small minded people.

I agree with Union members having representation - but Martin - why can't the Union pay for the 'organiser' - why should taxpayers have to pick up the bill?

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 07:22:07 AM »
I agree with Union members having representation - but Martin - why can't the Union pay for the 'organiser' - why should taxpayers have to pick up the bill?

This is an oft repeated old tory chestnut and repeated Mantra of the bosses and their supporters. Will the staff involved in this new staff forum be paid? For example what does Gavin Do For Free to the council tax payer in staff negotiations about changes most of which are coming top down through his office?

Will he freely give his time to the forum and will all the other staff who attend also do it out of paid working hours?  Will the forum have no cost to the council tax payer? Perhaps it's a question worth asking?

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 08:01:44 AM »
Quote
This is an oft repeated old tory chestnut and repeated Mantra of the bosses and their supporters.


On this occasion it is simply a straightforward question from a taxpayer.

It is not as if the Unions do not have the money to pay for 'Union related organisation' after all also they employ staff in a myriad of functions, they pay money to not only the Labour Party but also to individual MPs and they contribute to various studies and Think Tanks.  All perfectly right and proper.

Employers have HR departments which administer all manner of benefits packages and from my own experience (in the main) are often more on the emplyees side as opposed to management - hence they are often reffered to by managers as the 'Hardly Relevant' team, a tad unfairly perhaps.

The question is not a political one.

I think the issue of whether meetings will be held in 'work time'  is also interesting. I expect they will be and rightly so to.


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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 08:15:59 AM »
Quote
This is an oft repeated old tory chestnut and repeated Mantra of the bosses and their supporters.


On this occasion it is simply a straightforward question from a taxpayer.

It is not as if the Unions do not have the money to pay for 'Union related organisation' after all also they employ staff in a myriad of functions, they pay money to not only the Labour Party but also to individual MPs and they contribute to various studies and Think Tanks.  All perfectly right and proper.

Employers have HR departments which administer all manner of benefits packages and from my own experience (in the main) are often more on the emplyees side as opposed to management - hence they are often reffered to by managers as the 'Hardly Relevant' team, a tad unfairly perhaps.

The question is not a political one.

I think the issue of whether meetings will be held in 'work time'  is also interesting. I expect they will be and rightly so to.



Des

Sorry was not implying you were a boss supporter or being political.  O0

Your question just made me think that it is in the bosses interests to have good relations with their staff and that forums, council's what ever they are called are usually held in work time and the bill for everyones's time is picked up by the company or in this case the Council Tax Payer.

I think we are both saying the same thing here?  :wink:

Perhaps some think  it is ok for a private company to add this into their overhead then that is paid for by customers? But that the public sector should be treated less favourably?

Offline Mart

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 11:17:11 AM »
Perhaps some think  it is ok for a private company to add this into their overhead then that is paid for by customers? But that the public sector should be treated less favourably?

Bit naive and idealistic I know, but a healthy working relationship between a workforce and higher management should, surely, be self financing and more. That requires significant attitude shifts to work I know, maybe it's not even possible but it is worth the effort to try?

It is when that relationship in adversarial and confrontational that it is counter productive and it is that sort we hear about. What an utter waste that all is.

If a workforce and management can't derive what they each want from common goals then the enterprise is doomed to failure. Qantas would be a timely example.

One of those easier said than done jobbies I reckon
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 04:07:36 PM »
I understand the 'why does the taxpayer pick up the tab' question and it's a perfectly valid but not-easily-answered question.

Using Martins number of '3,000' employees I reckon on-site representation is a 'must' - representatives that 'know' the organisation, the various job roles etc, and who are easily accessible to other employees.

Given that the Administration controlled by Cllr Bluh could quite fairly be considered as hostile to the SBC workforce at the best of times, and probably more so as he cuts ever deeper into coal face workers but increases the number of highly paid executives, I think on-site (within SBC) Union representation is more needed now than ever before.

Self-funding representation within local authorities sounds great, but how long would SBC Union reps last 'on-site' before Rod's Bluhligans found a way of kicking them off-site and keeping them well away from the organisation?  Union bods need to be both employed by the local authority and present within the authority so they can represent, in SBC's case, 3,000 other employees, and do so free from coercion or pressure from the authority itself.

This isn't a loophole which is being exploited, these laws were drafted to ensure local authority workers have some level of on-site representation and protection from politicians like Cllr Bluh & his colleagues. 

It's no surprise that Rods Bluhligans have instructed their Chief Executive to do his best to kill off the Union presence within SBC prior to the remaining cuts, sackings and redundancies happening. 

It's ironic really, we see Cllr Russell Holland claiming that SBC tenants are 'protected' by an 'independent' tenants adviser, (and he's quite happy to pay that adviser large sums of taxpayers cash), but his cabinet is dogmatically opposed to publicly funding just 1 full time salary to give similarly 'independent' protection to 3,000 public sector workers......

....let's not forget that while this latest cutting manoeuvre was being planned Rod & Chums were busy cutting the number of top jobs at SBC from four to three by actually increasing it to 5 by appointing Matt Gott as Board Director for Localities.  The argument over whether his appointment was even legal is still raging.

Mr Gotts' salary alone would be sufficient to fund 3, 4 or perhaps even 5 full time union representatives so I don't think the taxpayer is getting a raw deal here. 3,000 local people need advice and support from their unions and some level of protection from an employer which is not acting benignly towards them.

The fact that their employer, Swindon Borough Council, is effectively controlled by the Swindon Conservative Party bodes ill for them.  It bodes even worse for those SBC employees who are not union members and have no protection whatsoever.

Offline Martin Wicks

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 04:38:18 PM »
Good point Geoff. Of course, the Council can buy the 'independent' tenant advisor, to be 'on side'. But their concern to dispense with one post for union members is to make it more difficult for the union to campaign against their cuts.

I repeat my request for one of the Tory Councillors who frequents this site to explain the rationale of such a cut. Surely one of you must be prepared to defend it?

Offline Scott Thunes

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 04:46:09 PM »
And it would appear the staff are finally realising what 'Stronger Together' really means. It's not about losing a layer of management, it's a disgustingly cynical way of displacing managers who don't get a role in the new structure, and pitting them against who were once their direct reports in competition for a lower-paid post.

So, imagine I have a line manager, who's line manager has not got a post in Tier 2. They may battle it out for a post in Tier 3. Guess what? The higher-calibre manager's manager gets the job - which then pits me against my manager for a job.

SBC get 'better' staff (on paper) for less money, as let's face it there are little jobs out there to go for, and the poor grunts at the bottom are out on their ear.

But, give it a year and the managers on low grades find a job outside and whoopee! SBC has lost an entire generation of skilled and committed staff, cast on the scrapheap of hateful Tory ideology.

Oooooh Matron!

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 04:49:05 PM »
Also, come renegotiation of pay, conditions, etc, joint representation (via a union) is far easier for a council or employers than dealing with 3000 individuals with varying demands.

Anyhoo, my experince of staff panels or forums:

a while back I used to work for ASDA who did NOT like unions. There was no union representation, but you could (ie, HAD TO) join the 'ASDA Friends' or whatever it was called. They took a bit of your salary back (into ASDA's profits) and in exchange there was the occassional non-subsidised bowling trip and a basket of pot pouri in the ladies' loo. No representation in staff disputes, no sense the 'Friends' were on the side of the employees - just pointless window dressing and a way of keeping a union off site.


Offline Mr Bojangles

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2011, 06:28:59 PM »



....let's not forget that while this latest cutting manoeuvre was being planned Rod & Chums were busy cutting the number of top jobs at SBC from four to three by actually increasing it to 5 by appointing Matt Gott as Board Director for Localities.  The argument over whether his appointment was even legal is still raging.





If you look at the special committe report for the 31st October, it looks like there are 6 board members, the original four:
• Board Director Service Delivery – Mr Bernie Brannan
• Board Director Commissioning – Mr John Gilbert
• Board Director Finance, Revenues, Benefits and Property – Mr Stuart
McKellar
• Programme Director Stronger Together – Mr Patrick Weir.

and then an extra two:!!
2.12. Based on the skills and experience demonstrated by these candidates, the
recommendation from the Sub-Committee was that the following
candidates should be appointed:
o Board Director Localities – Mr Matt Gott
o Board Director Transformation & Strategic Projects – Mr Hitesh Patel.

Not the saving that was originally proposed!

Offline Mart

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2011, 06:36:20 PM »
Vis a vis Union Reps, time off etc

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/TradeUnions/Tradeunionsintheworkplace/DG_179246

Look, straight from the horse's mouth as it were. P'raps someone ought to give it the once over before they hurtle off on another ill conceived jaunt.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2011, 07:10:23 PM »
Hang on a minutes, what's this 'Board'  Director business, has it turned into Swindon PLC, without so much as a by your leave??

Board of what?

And if Mr Patrick Weir is going to do anything 'Stronger Together, then we'd better know who we are all doing it with!
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Offline Mart

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2011, 07:17:04 PM »
Think you'll find that's Bored Director as in there's no f****** money (except for consultants and Vision Projects) and no f****** staff so they have nothing to do.

'Scuse my French.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Budget 2012/13 - what the Adver missed
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2011, 08:06:14 PM »
unless the rules have changed, if your in the union, you pay union dues, so if they need someone to sit full time to sort out the day to day problems, then they should provide a person to sit and do that job,
 several years ago, I finished my collection jobs and still had about just under 2 hours to finish time, so I parked up my truck and went home, when I got home my boss called me back to work for going home early, so I went back and after his rant about me going early, even though I had done all that was required of me, I asked about the lad who came in most days when he wanted to, signed on, then signed off and went home. I was told in no uncertain terms, that he, the manager, wasnt talking about union men and their duties and anyway, his wages were paid by the union,  which we all know is a lod of rubbish, but thats the spineless men we had in charge.. If I have time in the morning, I will do a FOI and ask how much the council actually pay out for these learned men...
If the police are paying out 7 million pounds for this 'service', how much is being paid out on a national basis..