Thursday, 10 November 2016

North Lanarkshire Update



Here's a post I drafted on Wednesday (yesterday) as an update for readers in North Lanarkshire who have been patiently awaiting news regarding their back pay settlements.

The position is that North Lanarkshire has still to get back to A4ES/HBJ Gateley to sign off on a formal Settlement Agreement which forms part of the overall settlement package with individual NLC employees.

But North Lanarkshire have still not responded (more than 24 hours later) and we are all still waiting on the Settlement Agreement being approved by the Council's head of human resources, Anne Burns.

A complete farce if you ask me, but instead of just screaming in frustration readers in North Lanarkshire may wish to drop Anne Burns and/or the Council chief executive (Paul Jukes) an email to ask, politely of course, just what the hell is going on.

Paul Jukes: jukesp@northlan.gov.uk
Anne Burns: burnsa@northlan.gov.uk

Meanwhile A4ES and HBJ Gateley are obviously doing their best to move things forward behind the scenes.

Everything else is ready to go.

  




The latest news on North Lanarkshire is that all the A4ES client letters have now been generated and will start going out to individual A4ES clients tomorrow Thursday 10th  November, via HBJ Gateley.

As I said on the blog site the other day the sooner the completed paperwork is returned, the sooner this can be passed back to North Lanarkshire Council for payment.

So it seems are in the finishing straight at long last.

  


North Lanarkshire Update (04/10/16)




A number of readers from North Lanarkshire have been in touch to say that emails enquiries they've sent to the Council's chief executive, Paul Jukes, are being passed on to Anne Burns, the new head of human resources at NLC.

Now this is quite disgraceful if you ask me, because the buck stops with the chief executive who is paid a pretty penny as the Council's 'head of the paid service' and this back pay business is obviously a very big issue for the Home Support workforce who have been treated very shabbily for years.

After all this time you would have thought Mr Jukes would be able to give a speedy explanation as to why the Council is dragging its feet over equal pay all over again, instead of passing the buck to one of his underlings. 

I said some time ago that Anne Burns' appointment might be a good thing in view of the track record of her predecessor, Iris Wylie, but it looks as if I'll need to revisit my assessment given this latest debacle - see previous posts to the blog site below.

So the fight continues and the task now is to involve the politicians and embarrass this 'cockamamy' Labour-run council into getting its finger out. 

 


North Lanarkshire Council (08/07/160



I've been contacted by more readers in North Lanarkshire who say that their letters to the Council's chief executive, Paul Jukes, are being responded to by someone called Anne Burns, the acting Head of Business (Organisational and People Solutions).

Now I don't know this person, but she seems to have replaced the former head of human resources, Iris Wylie, and if so, that may well be a good thing.

In any event Action 4 Equality Scotland has requested details of all the A4ES clients whose grades are affected by the JE Review to check the figures and calculations in relation to any backpay that is due. 

  


North Lanarkshire Update (07/11/16)



Great news for Home Support workers in North Lanarkshire!

The long-awaited financial data from the Council has finally been released to A4ES and its solicitors HBJ Gateley.

The next step is to turn this information into individual offer letters to all A4ES clients which will now be done as quickly as possible.

The sooner the completed paperwork is returned the sooner it can be passed back to North Lanarkshire Council for payment.

Any further news will be reported on the blog site, as normal.

  

North Lanarkshire Update (04/11/16)



Here are some of the comments I've received from readers in North Lanarkshire who are rightly angry at the latest delay to Home Support workers receiving their long-awaited JE back payments.

There' s a surprise, I'm sure someone else must be authorised and able to sign the letters off.

Again Shocking but no surprise how do they get away with it time after time !!!!!!!!!

Exactly who's getting the interest on our money it's a disgrace

Sound about right........same old excuses time and time again

They only have One official who can sign paperwork?

They had a year and more to do this, has this person been on holiday for a year, they were well aware this needed done. They place no value on our jobs and don't even start me on the waste of space that is the union

So this particular post is only covered by one person ....so what happens when they have there 2 week summer holiday .. does the place grined to a halt !

Surely there must be someone else that can do it. You are so right

Whoever is on "holiday" should have their leave cancelled and brought back immediately if no one else can do it!

Only one signatory in the whole of NLC who can deal with this?? Delaying the inevitable again. I am awfully glad there is more than one person who does my job otherwise there would be a LOT of neglected people!

Now as people point out North Lanarkshire (Scotland's fourth largest council) has had months to plan and get things right.

I can't imagine that the 'bigwigs' at NLC were so accident prone or slipshod when it came to looking after their own interests by introducing a controversial performance pay scheme for  North Lanarkshire's highest paid senior officials.


So the message to the Council is clear - get your finger out and get this sorted.

  


Council Bigwigs (18/05/16)



Here's another post from the blog site archive about North Lanarkshire Council which speaks for itself if you ask me - the only thing I would add is that given recent events in the Employment Tribunal, the officials involved should now be asked to hand these ridiculous bonuses back.

Because their performance has been shoddy, to say the least, in terms of looking after the interests of the workforce, so given what we know now how can the Council's senior managers defend these bonus payments?

The whole sorry business is enough to make a banker blush.   

Pay Freeze Hypocrites ( 26 March 2012)


North Lanarkshire Council should hang its head in shame.

The Sunday Herald has exposed a secret pay deal involving big bonus payments to some of the council's most senior officials - which must have been approved by the Labour Group that runs North Lanarkshire Council (NLC).


The truth has been dragged out of North Lanarkshire Council - and shows that 29 senior staff scooped approximately £184,000 in extra payments - chief executive Gavin Whitefield being the biggest winner with an extra £12,050 on top of his £136,848 salary.

Which must make other council workers hopping mad - because at a time when their pay is being frozen - the chief executive is awarded an 9% pay increase.

How's that for hypocrisy and double standards?

The Sunday Herald goes on to point out that five executive directors - who earn salaries of £113,250 a year - all received more than £9000 - as did the assistant chief executive John Ellerby.

And more than 20 heads of service - on salaries between £77,166 and £85,761 - each took home bonus payments of approximately £4000 to £6000.

Now the council calls these extra payments performance related pay - but they are really just bonuses by another name.

Apparently only a select group of people can access such payments - and I imagine the scheme works in only one direction in the sense that a senior official's core salary is guaranteed - so the chief executive can never earn less than £136,848 a year.

In which case how can it be a genuine performance based scheme - if people's pay can only go up but never down?

The salaries of all council chief executives is determined by collective bargaining - in a similar way to other groups of council employees - via a Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee (SJNC).

On the SJNC for chief executives and chief officials - where COSLA represents the employers' interests and Unison is the main trade union - salaries for chief executives are set as part of a Scotland-wide agreement - and the pay of Glasgow's chief executive always comes out on top.

Because Glasgow is by far the largest council - and by and large that is what any sensible person would expect.

But there is no provision in the Scotland-wide salary agreement - for locally determined performance pay - since that would be against the spirit of national bargaining and would be potentially discriminatory as well - especially if such payments are only available to elite groups of senior staff.

So the whole thing's a disgrace if you ask me.

In many ways it reminds me of the secret 'top-up' payments made by Glasgow City Council - to councillors who acted as Chairs of its arm's length external organisations (such as Cordia) - or ALEOs as they became known. 

Regular readers will remember that these payments were stopped by the Scottish Government - but only after an independent enquiry criticised Glasgow's top-up payments - as unjustified, unnecessary and a complete waste of taxpayers' money.

So I would be interested to hear how a Labour-run council can justify this kind of behaviour.

Especially at a time when thousands of people in North Lanarkshire Council are still fighting for equal pay. 

How can the senior Labour councillors who signed off on this deal - look a low paid worker in the eye without feeling a huge sense of embarrassment and shame? 

And have you noticed how the tame Labour unions have nothing to say - just as they did over equal pay the unions seem to have lost their voices.

Roll on the local council elections on 3rd May, I say - there is a day of reckoning coming and the sooner it comes the better.

If I had a vote in North Lanarkshire in May - I'd vote for a party which promised to end the scandal of Labour's secret bonus payments - to the council's most senior and well paid staff.