Monday, 2 July 2018

'Ask Annemarie'



Here's another highly topical question for the chief executive of Glasgow City Council, Annemarie O'Donnell.

Dear Annemarie

Can you explain and justify your decision to award the hugely generous 'gift' of £120,000 to the Council's former director of finance, Lynn Brown?

Do you understand the enormous resentment your decision has caused amongst the thousands of low paid council staff who are still fighting for their right to equal pay?

Your sincerely

A Second Class Member  of the 'Council Family'.

  


'Ask Annemarie' (22/06/18)


An enterprising reader took Annemarie' O'Donnell at her word by asking Glasgow's chief executive to explain why it should take up to 3 years to replace the Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme.

Here's what Annemarie had to say in her reply.

Dear E,

Any review which affects pay and grading will be a complex matter due to the diversity of council services and the different types of roles that staff carry out. The previous implementation of the new pay and grading system did take over three years to complete for all staff. I will keep everyone informed about the decision on the pay and grading review and, if approved, a communication and engagement plan will be developed to keep everyone up to date with development and details about how the changes could affect them.


Regards


Annemarie O'Donnell 

Chief Executive

Now this is nonsense, as everyone knows, apart from the Council's most senior and highest paid member of staff it would appear.

Because the WPBR was first introduced back in January 2007 and the implementation date was even backdated to April 2006.

As regular readers will recall, Glasgow City Council initially denied it had a problem with 'unequal pay', yet within months of A4ES arriving on the scene in August 2005, the Council offered to 'buy out' people's equal pay claims on the cheap.

In the run up to Christmas 2005 thousands of the lowest paid council workers were 'bullied', 'cajoled' and 'pressurised' into accepting very poor offers of settlement with dire warnings about the Council 'going bankrupt' if they didn't accept what was on the table. 

Shame on them!

Just over a year later the City Council had put new pay arrangements into effect, i.e. its 'unfit for purpose' WPBR which suffered from the enormous drawback of having to be designed completely from scratch and this is how cockamamy, discriminatory pay practices such as the 37 hour 'rule' came about. 

So not for the first time, the Council's CEO is wrong and if you ask me, it is high time she moved on and found a new challenge elsewhere.

  

'Ask Annemarie' (15/06/18)


Here's another highly topical question for the chief executive of Glasgow City Council.

Dear Annemarie

After watching last night's 'The Trouble With Women' programme by Anne Robinson, don't you agree that it would be better for all concerned, if you agreed to stand down as the CEO of Scotland's largest council? 

After all, you played a crucial role in creating the Council's ALEOs, including Cordia of course, and you defended the Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme for years.

Surely you realise by now that when it comes to equal pay and justice for low paid workers in Glasgow - you are part of the problem not part of the solution?

Yours sincerely


A Second Class Member of the Glasgow 'Council Family'


  

'Ask Annemarie' (12/06/18)


Readers continue to send me suggestions for the bold new 'Ask Annemarie' initiative   at Glasgow City Council. 

Dear Annemarie

Can you explain why Glasgow City Councill is claiming that it may take up to 3 years to deliver new pay arrangements to replace the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR when it took just over a year to introduce the WPBR pay scheme back in 2007? 

Is this because senior council officials were in a mad rush to deliver a 'quick fix' with the WPBR and if so, who is going to be held responsible for the resulting mess and terrible waste of public money?

Yours sincerely


A Second Class Member of the Glasgow 'Council Family'

I do hope that Glasgow's equal pay claimants get a serious answer to their questions because the points that people are raising are fair and reasonable.

  

'Ask Annemarie' (07/06/18)


Here's another topical question that equal pay claimants might like to ask the chief executive of Glasgow City Council, Annemarie O'Donnell - see post below on 'Glasgow's Bold New Equal Pay Initiative' dated 5th June 2018.

Dear Annemarie

In 2017 your remuneration package with Glasgow City Council came to an eye-watering and record high of £252,860.

Do you believe this package represents value for money because in August 2017 the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, condemned the City Council's WPBR pay scheme as 'unfit for purpose'.

Along with other senior officials in Glasgow you defended the WPBR pay scheme 'tooth and nail' for many years and, in my opinion, a remuneration package of £252,860 is tantamount to 'rewarding failure'.

Yours sincerely



A Second Class Member of the Glasgow 'Council Family'

The 'Ask Annmarie' equal pay hotline can be reached at the following email address - AnneMarie@glasgow.gov.uk - and keep your suggestions coming as I'll share thermal on the blog site.
 

Dear Annemarie

Can you explain how senior council officials who defended the WPBR for so many years can now be trusted to oversee the introduction of new, open and transparent pay arrangements which command the support of the Council's largely female workforce?

Yours sincerely


A Second Class Member of the Glasgow 'Council Family'


  

Glasgow's Bold New Equal Pay Initiative - 'Ask Annemarie' (05/06/18)


Here's the latest communication from Annemarie O'Donnell, Glasgow City Council's chief executive, who fought tooth and nail to defend the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR for years - and who is still refusing to explain how senior council officials acted in 'good faith' when this cockamamy pay scheme was introduced back in 2007.

I think you can tell this whole business of 'coming clean' about the WPBR is beginning to get under Annemarie's skin because her latest missive to the workforce tries to airbrush Action 4 Equality Scotland right out of the picture, as if we don't exist, even though A4ES represents the largest number of equal pay claimants in Glasgow.

Now there will be more to follow about Annemarie soon, as I recently registered a formal complaint with the CEO over what I regard as the Council's unprofessional behaviour in relation to freedom of information (FOI).

Sooner or later the penny must drop that the discredited senior council officials responsible for introducing and defending the WPBR and Glasgow's ALEOs - are part of the problem when it comes to equal pay not part of the solution!

So maybe readers would like to drop a note to Annemarie along the following lines to her new 'Ask Annmarie' equal pay hotline - AnneMarie@glasgow.gov.uk 

Dear Annemarie

Can you explain how senior council officials who defended the WPBR for so many years can now be trusted to oversee the introduction of new, open and transparent pay arrangements which command the support of the Council's largely female workforce?

Yours sincerely

A Second Class Member of the Glasgow 'Council Family'

I wish you well although in my experience the problem lies not in asking Annemarie topical questions - but in getting straight answers out of the council's CEO.

If any readers have a 'Question for Annemarie', send me your suggestions and I'll share the details on the blog site - in confidence of course.  

  


Subject: Equal pay claims and pay and grading review - message from Annemarie O'Donnell

I want to give you an update about the council’s commitment to resolving equal pay claims and making sure that we have a fair pay and grading system for everyone who works for the council in the future. I’m committed to keeping you informed about anything that could affect you in the future, even before we know the exact details about what this will mean to you.

As part of the ongoing equal pay claim negotiations, we have now agreed with our trade unions that we need to replace our current workforce pay and grading system and conduct a review to consider the alternatives open to the council to make sure that everyone is paid equally for equal work in the future.

A paper is being prepared, in consultation with the trade unions, to ask the City Administration Committee for a decision to carry out the review and that is likely to be before summer recess. We anticipate that it will take several months to complete the review and depending on the outcome, fully implementing the changes could take a number of years.

Although everyone who works in a non-teaching job in the council could be affected by this review, it won’t necessarily mean that everyone will experience a change to their pay and benefits.

Once the report for the City Administration Committee is available I will be in touch to tell you about the content and then again once the decision has been made about implementing the review.

As always, I am grateful for the work that you all do for Glasgow and its citizens. Although this will feel like an uncertain time, what won’t change is the type and quality of work that you all do to make this city better every day.

If you have any questions you can email me at Ask Annemarie

Regards



Annemarie O’Donnell
Chief Executive