Joint UNION Response – Phase 14
At first glance, Phase 14 may seem like any other Phase the council has proposed over the last year and a half. However, there are some major differences.
The 13 previous phases of the transformation agenda have largely concentrated on the lower paid end of the workforce. The outcome has resulted in many of our long serving and experienced staff taking voluntary redundancy, facing compulsory redundancy or becoming re-deployed, sometimes into a lower graded post.
Waltham Forest have not been as forthcoming with requests for information as they have been in other Phases. Unions have requested information to be clarified, (e.g which current post directly equates to which future post in the proposals), but this information was not forthcoming.
Additionally, posts in previous phases have been evaluated using the agreed LGPS scheme. Posts in phase 14 have been evaluated using the HAY scheme which has never been agreed with Unions. As there is “currently no capacity to evaluate under the HAY scheme within Waltham Forest at present” the task was outsourced to HAY at a cost that the council will not disclose.
Unions are particularly concerned that there had been no Union representation on the evaluation panels as there are under the LGPS scheme. Pay scales within HAY can be set by the council to whatever they wish.
But the biggest difference is this;
In a world where the council are attempting to save £3 million from its employees terms and conditions, where libraries are closing, where we cut staff and services for our boroughs youth, poor, disabled and elderly, this councils Senior management have decided to give themselves a Pay Rise. Whilst the proposal makes some savings, this is around the deletion of a couple of posts. Most other Senior Staff will be better off, if not now then in the future. When questioned about this, Management has said that there will also be losers, however Unions have found that this is not as straightforward or accurate as it seems.
The table here shows that 11 Chief Officers, who earn, currently, £77,850.00 or more will receive an increase of up to £20,150.00.
Unions feel such increases are not justifiable and it is a slap in the face to our staff in residential homes, social work posts, highways, environment and homecare that could lose thousands of pounds a year due to proposed cuts in our terms and conditions.
It beggars belief that chief officers justify increasing their salaries by up to £20,150.00, (as is the case for the head of strategic commissioning) when we are making low paid workers redundant.
Unison and the GMB ask that this proposal is disregarded and that the money saved goes toward retaining the terms and conditions of the majority of our workforce.
Dave Knight, Branch Secretary, UNISON
Moshe Ash, Branch President, GMB
Christine Street, Transformation Officer, UNISON