Manchester City Council

A Few Answers More

Picking up from the last but one blog, here are a few more As, some expanding on previous ones.

1. t matt, I do read all the comments and do write it myself, although at times it almost becomes a full-time occupation in itself, particularly as I only type with one finger ( seriously ). The use of the third person was because I was talking about the office ( Leader of the Council ) not the person ( currently me )

2. There have been a few variations on fighting the cuts and why the blog isn't taking a more aggressive stance. The blog has always been about providing information and the law is pretty clear that I cannot use it for campaigning activity. On the other hand the blog does welcome comments from a wide range of points of view.

3. There have also been many comments on how Council staff get information about what is happening in and to the Council. Of course staff should get prompt and accurate information directly from the Council but it is impossible to guarantee that they will get the information directly before they see or hear it in the media or from a colleague. It's in the Council's interest to get there first because other sources tend not to be accurate, but the size and complexity of the Council, the fact that not everybody has easy access to a computer, and even those who do don't spend all day waiting for a broadcast, means that we have no way of instantly and simultaneously communicating with all our staff.

4. Sorry Duck Fame, if you take schools expediture and demand driven adult care and children in need expenditure out of the Council's budget there has been virtually no growth over the last fifteen years. Over the last three years we have made £55m in efficiency savings and the only reason we can fund the VER/VS scheme is because of very tight control on expenditure. In addition we have had one of the lowest average increases in Council Tax in the country over that period of time, 0% this year.

5. NW, you have my sympathy but what happened at 4NW was even worse than what is happening to the Council now. ( Howard Bernstein by the way had no involvement with 4NW but as you rightly say I was the Chair ). The new government, elected in May cut the 4NW budget by 100% and only made the first two quarters payments for the year. I did ask all the members of 4NW to look for re-deployment opportunities and am sorry there weren't more. Having said that, those people who did get re-deployment to local government might now be thinking out of the frying pan into the fire.

6. I've done a calculation. If all the members of the Wider Leadership Team, that's the top 340 posts, all took a voluntary 5% wage cut, it would save enough money for around 40 posts.

7. Norman, the Council doesn't fund religious celebrations and our Translating Services also earn a lot of external income.

8. Nick, both the Co-op and MCFC already sponsor things in the city and in addition City pay a healthy rent for the stadium which goes back into Council-funded sports. If we sold the stadium not only would we lose the income but also have to pay back all the grant we received for the stadium in the first place. The Co-op's current investment in maintaining their head office in the city is now very visible and what we really need the Co-op and the football club to do along with other private sector businesses is to keep growing and employing more people.

9. My last word on the Airport. The dividend we receive is worth more to us than a capital receipt and as long as we keep our 55% of the Airport, the dividend will keep on coming. If we take a one-off capital receipt, once its gone its gone.

10. On Collyhurst ( and other retained Council stock ), we have put in a bid to the government's Homes and Communities Agency for enough money to bring all the properties up to decency standard. MPs Graham Stringer and Tony Lloyd have also got an agreement from the Housing Minister to visit in the near future with a chance to put the case directly.

Lastly, how do I feel about all this. I can tell you honestly that this is the worst time by far that I have had since I was first elected in 1984.

Make a comment



There are 55 responses to “ A Few Answers More”

  1. OldFella Says:

    Thanks, Sir Richard! Especially for the time you spend on this area... mostly thankless, but actually also greatly appreciated by very many, especially when there are long periods of information vacuum, it fills the gap nicely. If folks are a bit nowty in response, well, it does provide a channel to let off some steam! And I do appreciate your honesty (and personally never noted any sarcasm).

  2. Ooooh! Says:

    OldFella and Sir Richard, sitting in a tree...

  3. Heartbroken Says:

    Thank you again for trying to give us a honest reply.
    But I just need to make a comment about you point 6: Senior staff taking a 5% pay cut and your calculation.
    It's not how much the council will save or how many jobs it will save.
    We understand that.
    The main issue is: they also need to show that we are " in it together" The leader also need to show that the top people do not remain 'UNTOUCHABLES”. The leader can show that he is treating everyone equally. There is no ‘Upstairs and Downstairs’ in any labour controls councils. I STILL HOPE OUR LEADER WILL.

  4. employee Says:

    heartbroken - how is it treating people equally if you cut the pay of people who happen to be on a higher grade than you? Why do you begrudge people who have worked to get where they are?

    I know there's a lot of managers here who coast along, but then there's a lot of people on the "shop floor" who do the same. By the same token there's a lot of management here who work their backsides off.

    Very interesting to note that Pauline Newman is taking early retirement but isn't taking the payout she could have gone for. Which says a great deal about her character. Shame she's going when other less able people remain.

  5. Disillusioned Says:

    A much appreciated entry - but further to point 6 and Heartbroken's comment - saving 40 jobs may not sound like much but that's 40 families who will continue to eat, pay bills, keep a roof over their head, clothe their children and continue contributing to the economy.

  6. Wyth-insured Says:

    The accusations concerning a large percentage of Council workers sitting around getting well paid doing naff all.....could it be they are too busy replying to a certain Council Leader's blog?

  7. t matt Says:

    re. Number 3 - an apology should be given by the Council. You do nto read your email at 10pm and how it affects the media/comms message is not the staffs' primary concern - if there are job cuts we should be informed 1st. 10pm email was a disgrace and an apology should be given.
    Number 6 - you have prven the case to me! 5% pay cuts it should be indeed. Glad that has been decided upon.
    Number 1 - Glad you write them yourself, I know finding the time must be difficult, especially deciding which posts to reply to as there are so many views on here from all sides of the argument.
    Sir Leese - Thanks for your continuing responses on the blog.

  8. norman Says:

    so MCC didn't spend any money on Christmas 2010? Nil, nothing. Who paid for the santa?

  9. Heartbroken Says:

    I haven’t received my envelope yet but few of my colleagues here received it this morning. The way I read it is not good.

    It says what we MIGHT get and puts a condition “Subject to affordability” and they want us to commit ourselves to that by signing for that. What ever is on the paper is not a concrete offer. This can be reduced (i.e. subject to affordability) after we have signed for it.
    All my colleagues, including me, are now totally confused.

  10. dunone Says:

    "Thanks, Sir Richard! Especially for the time you spend on this area... mostly thankless, but actually also greatly appreciated by very many, especially when there are long periods of information vacuum, it fills the gap nicely. If folks are a bit nowty in response, well, it does provide a channel to let off some steam! And I do appreciate your honesty (and personally never noted any sarcasm)."

    Pat, just leave it.

  11. me Says:

    Point 6 - 40 jobs is 40 jobs - that would be the amount in my current team so please Mr Leese and co TAKE THE 5% and show us you are in it with us.

  12. not impressed with wit Says:

    point 6. Excellent idea, are we going to do that then? Most sensible idea on the blog. Saving 40 jobs would be the most sensible decision made to date. 5% cuts to the top paid or 40 front line staff? Why dont you ask council tax payers what they would prefer?

  13. apprehensive Says:

    @heartbroken

    I was advised at one of the Unison briefings this week that responding to the estimated offer letter does not mean you are agreeing to go. It merely indicates that you might be interested in taking it and would like to see the actual figures before deciding.

  14. Heartbroken Says:

    @Apprehensive: Thanks for clarifying that. But now I am very reluctant to believe what union say. I remember Union saying at M people briefing. If the budget cut is less than 25% for Manchester then M-people save all of us. Now see what happening. The cut is 21% yet already 2000 to go and who know what else is in the pipeline. I get the impression that our Union leaders here are also working paid to protect the management while we are paying for them.

  15. Poster Says:

    Ref; Point 6. I've done a calculation - only 1,960 now required.

  16. me Says:

    @Ooooohh

    K I S S I N G!!!

  17. thischarmingmanc Says:

    Heartbroken – what Unison said at your m people briefing was true, as most sane, rational people were expecting any cuts to be spread over 2 or 3 years, and therefore a circa 20-25% cut in funding could be managed over 2-3 years without having to cut jobs.

    What we need to remember here is that we are no longer dealing with sane, rational people but Tories. And they are hell bent on taking a guillotine to public services in this country – hence they have ‘front-loaded’ all these cuts, which means they have to be made this financial year, i.e. now, leaving the Council with no alternative.

  18. Stop the ride I want to get OFF Says:

    If there was a 5% cut across the entire council how many jobs would this save.............?

    I for one would be willing to look at this - as even with a 5% cut in pay I would still get a hell of a lot more than I would get on the dole.

  19. Heartbroken Says:

    @ thischarmingmanc : Tories are in power since may last year and we no longer dealing with sane, I agree. But m people briefing was done just recently. Am sure union knew about the government not in sane (as you put it). My point is union should have kept their gob shut until they were sure instead of giving us false hope.

  20. thischarmingmanc Says:

    Heartbroken – yes the Tories have been in power since May 2010 but the exact settlement for Manchester was not announced until December 2010, since when Unison has been in negotiation with the Council to try and makes the cuts required with as little pain as possible for members.

    Manchester (the Council and Unison) were expecting cuts of about 23% as that was what was indicated in all pre-budget reports throughout 2010, and why m people was rolled out in late spring/summer. No-one, was expecting 23% cuts to be front-loaded, and you suggest that Unison, during a time of change and potential upheaval (m people) for MCC employees should have kept quiet!! Union members just love it when their union seem to do nothing. Honestly, they’re damned if they do……
    Heartbroken – yes the Tories have been in power since May 2010 but the exact settlement for Manchester was not announced until December 2010, since when Unison has been in negotiation with the Council to try and makes the cuts required with as little pain as possible for members.

    Manchester (the Council and Unison) were expecting cuts of about 23% as that was what was indicated in all pre-budget reports throughout 2010, and why m people was rolled out in late spring/summer. No-one, was expecting 23% cuts to be front-loaded, and you suggest that Unison, during a time of change and potential upheaval (m people) for MCC employees should have kept quiet!! Union members just love it when their union seem to do nothing. Honestly, they’re damned if they do……




  21. Cromwell Says:

    Gotta hand it to Toryboy aven't you, he's playing the divide and conquer game brilliantly. They got the union members blaming the Union chiefs, the employee's blaming the members. We're all taking our eye off the ball. Every trade union should unite to bring this lying, silver spoon government down. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any fight out there. A feeling of resignation seems to be in the air, and I'm not talking about Sir H or R.

  22. bunnyWabbit Says:

    RE: Answer 3. No, but you can guarantee that if your first notification to staff is by email to their work email addresses at 10 pm, then they WILL DEFINITELY hear it first via the press, radio, tv, etc. A seeming inability to recognise and apologise for this cock up is, I'm afraid, making the leader appear churlish and unheeding of employees feelings. And as for 5% cut in management pay saving 40 jobs - I'm with everyone else, what are we waiting for ? The fact that you can refer to 40 jobs as something negligible is extremely worrying.

  23. Disgruntled Says:

    I assume I am not the only employee to misunderstand HB's offer of an additional 6 weeks....I read it as six weeks for everyone regardless of service. Whilst I might previously have considered it now its not an option. Re those asking for senior staff taking a 5% paycut..why should they? I think all employees know that MCC can quite easily shed 10% of its staff without too much trouble, Id start with a cull of Comms and DoT, both a total and utter waste of money.

  24. Worried Says:

    I’ve worked for Manchester for over 25 years and I have to say they have been fantastic employers. However whets happened to loyalty and appreciating long term staff. It just doesn’t seem fair that someone who’s worked 13 years will get’ exactly the same payout as someone who has worked 30. Surely the figure should be based on ALL your years worked.

  25. OldFella Says:

    What can the Unions do? What have they been able to do and for how long, since Thatcher? Talk... No one really takes much notice of our castrated Unions anymore. Not even the members. But they keep paying subs in case they have a 'personal situation'. Not cheap, especially if you're with Unison. NOTHING the Unions can do will change what is happening NOW! March, protest, rally by all means, let off some steam, spit defiance at the Government. But does anyone see ANY situation in the coming weeks or months where the ConDem coalition will have any change of heart on the amount of these savage cuts, or the speed of expected delivery? So... we are where we are. And in common with other Councils, Manchester is dealing with it as best as it can, I believe. Envelopes are out, thank you Personnel staff, cracking job on such a time limited schedule. But I hear so many colleagues say they can't afford to volunteer to go on what is being offered, and so risking POSSIBLE compulsory redundancy in the future and on worse severance terms. But EVERYONE knows that by now. Surely? OMG! This really IS a sh*t situation. But can anybody blame the Council? No, imho. Definately not. Manchester has been as fair as it can be.

  26. Ian Says:

    More good news just watched Mervin Kings lecture him being Govenor of the Bank of England. He just stated that in 2011 with tax rises and prices rises in fuel and food the overall effect will be a real 12% cut in wages like in 2010 He stated therefore the wages in 2011 would be the same in real terms as 2005. More good news. The economy is about to fall into recession due to the lack of Tory monetery system, things look grim.

  27. help Says:

    I would like to say that after nearly 30 service with the Council - working after the Manchester bomb , Commonwealth Games to name but a few things I have worked on - I find myself going to be £7.000 worst off and a days less Holiday.All the extra time and effort i put into th Council I find was it worth it.I found out that my Manager says to me and myb colleagues you have a CHOICE - The front gate or stay put.

    Thanks for the ride of my life.
    How do you think it makes me and a lot of other feel in this day and age.

  28. Bruce Campbell Says:

    I sent off my expression of interest for voluntary severance this morning. 1 down, 1999 to go Mr Leese.

  29. Council Worker Says:

    What's more annoying is that the waste of money over the years. Budget Holders are given money to spend and told they should put this to use or they won't get as much the following year. So rather than being encouraged to save money each year budget holders make sure they spend up each year and waste money on unnecessary items and replacing things that don't need replacing but are being replaced for replacement sake just before the budget year runs out.

    Also the waste that has been spending thousands and thousands of pounds on Taxis and Car Park Passes rather than using cheaper alternatives.

  30. DavidM Says:

    Hi Stoptheride, I'm no genius at maths, but I'd expect that a 5% cut in wages across the board would save about 5% of the Council's wage bill, i.e. 5% of jobs. Unless there's something I've missed...

    My friend, an architect, was in an awful position a few months back. Her nine colleagues were asked to decide between either a) everbody takes a 10% pay cut, and Clare stays or b) everyone's pay stays the same, and Clare gets sacked. She stayed, but what terrible choice for the colleagues eh? Ho hum....

  31. Lorna Doom Says:

    bunnyWabbit - Well said.
    Mr Lees has shown himself to be, at best, unthinking and at worst insufferably arrogant. Before people start with the 'difficult, thankless job' and I wouldn't do his job' nonesense, let's get one thing straight, he has chosen to serve the public. This is considered a privelige. He has got a knighthood for crying out loud. The rewards are pretty good but that is not what it is supposed to be about.
    So Richard, quailfy your statement about 40 jobs and also have the guts to come right out with it and say that the way staff got to know from the press was UNACCEPTABLE. If you can't even get that right, how can we trust your decisions about job cuts and what will be a 'wipeout' of services to Manchester residents, with those least able to cope, being the biggest losers in all this.

  32. dizzypointed Says:

    Opened my letter this morning to find my 36 years service amounts to sod all. I have no choice but to stay and play the "compulsory redundancy or MPathway finding me a job" lottery game. Anyone any idea where these phantom jobs are coming from via MPeople by the way?

  33. Coulrophobia Says:

    Sir Richard, re your “a few answers more” answers….

    3. There have also been many comments on how Council staff get information about what is happening in and to the Council. Of course staff should get prompt and accurate information directly from the Council but it is impossible to guarantee that they will get the information directly before they see or hear it in the media or from a colleague. It's in the Council's interest to get there first because other sources tend not to be accurate, but the size and complexity of the Council, the fact that not everybody has easy access to a computer, and even those who do don't spend all day waiting for a broadcast, means that we have no way of instantly and simultaneously communicating with all our staff.

    Re answer 3 - MCC have a very well paid and secure (in terms of employment) Corp comms team AND a dept for transformation -so why then between the two ’teams’ did staff hear it first from GMR, the BBC national news, Rock Radio ( even I found that one bizarre) etc? someone managed to brief them (various media) up in advance though. Another success for corp coms no doubt. So maybe it is no wonder some staff in fear of their livelihood look out for updates all day, but if its broadcasts they want , asuming in your reply you meat email broadcasts from Sir Howard and not news broadcasts on the radio, maybe they would be better off having access to work emails from home - then they can be sure to get the next 10.00 pm ‘update’ or maybe they prefer to have the news broken to them over the radio - to soften the blow when they open their email in box at work.


    6. I've done a calculation. If all the members of the Wider Leadership Team, that's the top 340 posts, all took a voluntary 5% wage cut, it would save enough money for around 40 posts.

    Re your point 6 - 40 posts would be a noble starting point, genuinely. Why not have a ballot across all staff, not carried out by the unions (unlike the M people ballot) the unions could oversee the process though, for continuity, offering the option for ALL staff , not just union members to vote on a universal 5% pay cut (possibly excluding the least well paid grades - who would suffer most by a cut) or the option to (as someone else previously suggested) be paid for a 30 hour week at 30 x their hourly rate? Being paid 5% less or being paid for 30 hours maintains service and is favourable to JSA. MCC have the addresses of all employee’s and so turn out would be higher than the M people ballot - which was always going to be low, not only due to a large number of staff not being in a union, something MCC are well aware of.

    9. My last word on the Airport. The dividend we receive is worth more to us than a capital receipt and as long as we keep our 55% of the Airport, the dividend will keep on coming. If we take a one-off capital receipt, once its gone its gone.

    Re your point 9 - The original suggestion in one of your recent blogs, from a respondent was to sell Bournemouth airport NOT Manchester airport.
    It is common sense that Manchester airport is vital to the region and future growth (carbon footprint aside), any income is good income - obviously. BUT Manchester Airport Group (MAG) also owns East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside airports. Each one is probably vital to the growth of its own region, but why do MAG need to own them? Sell one of them or MCC’s share in one invest the money where it is, at the moment needed - at home. (unless there is some perverse satisfaction in bring money ‘up t’north from Bournemouth, or bolstering the economy of the east midlands or Humberside)

    If I may make a suggestion, going back to your blog of October 2009, titled “Power. What power?” in which you said “I've often pointed out to my Councillor colleagues that we can pass all the motions and resolutions we like in the Council Chamber, nothing will happen unless the people who work for us make it happen, and how well services are delivered is largely down to their skills, enthusiasm and commitment.” which if taken at face value are honest, noble words, from someone who obviously cares about the City, its inhabitants and its employee’s, why not, with corp comms and dept for transformation at your disposal at least try to have a meaningful dialogue with staff - rather than M people style briefings (many of which were thinly veiled threat and abuse sessions from senior managers anyway - “we will seek out the sick, lazy and those unwilling to train” sticks out from one session)

    On a lighter note, since we are all after the one goal - that of stability, can I have the director of corp comms job please? I would have all staff start the day with community singing from the steps of the renovated town hall to raise moral. We could start with “I am H.A.P.P.Y” leading onto “Don’t Worry be happy” followed by the ELO classic “Mr Blue sky”

    I am available for scale 6.

  34. OldFella Says:

    @dizzypointed... I'm also dizzypointed for you. I have colleagues in a similar situation, and I can understand how dizzypointing it is. I applied to accept my VER offer because I simply won't hack what's coming, I have an idea what the future looks like, and I'm already too beggered as it is. It's the best offer I'll get 'to go early' for a long time. I simply can't risk CR and job seekers allowance. Now just very nervously awaiting personnel approval. Me and a few other colleagues 'lucky enough' perhaps to have VER offers worth considering because we have so many years contributory service, but I'm not expecting a penny of extra severance. Manageing financially will be difficult, my salary is around the average for the Council, and like everyone I have hefty financial commitments every month which just keep going up.

    Btw, I heard via grapevine that it has been suggested to some VER candidates that they seek better severance terms by effectively 'blackmailing' the Council to cough up more money to see their backsides out the front door! I'd be well brassed off to find that such tactics achieved better payout 'bye bye' terms than I received because I 'played by the rules' and didn't think to privately negotiate a better deal with personnel. Is this allowed, Sir Richard?

  35. Very clever (I don't mean me) Says:

    5% “temporary cut” in Senior management salary = 40 posts saved. Not posts but people perhaps, that’s the important point. Save people from becoming unemployed.
    So 10% “temporary cut” = 80 posts saved
    So 15% “temporary cut” = 120 posts saved
    So 20% “temporary cut” = 160 posts saved
    So 25% “temporary cut” = 200 posts saved

    I say temporary because once the savings in staff numbers are made over time the top managers will reverse the pay cut.

    Help spread the pain! If I could help people by taking a pay cut I would, if it was an option. You could even make a political point out of senior management and/or the workforce taking a pay cut to help others.

    Many have had to take a “20% “temporary cut” in the private sector to get through tough times, it was much harder for them. I did see it on the news some time back.

    But still, very clever stating 5% so now that’s the most the public expect and nothing more, rather than senior management accepting more and lessening the impact of the cuts to people who need jobs. Ultimately your cuts in pay would be temporary. Or am I wrong?

    I know what’s coming and know I could lose my job. I just hope you don’t play politics with my job and others jobs, in support of a political party that couldn’t balance the national budget since the year 2000.

  36. ABABU Says:

    In response to this and other posts, there seems to be a lot of negative feelings towards DOT. I have to admit that seeing streams of senior project managers and senior business consultants does beg the question, exactly who are these highly paid members of staff senior to? Given that transformation is being pushed upon us do we really need a whole directorate to manage it?

  37. Heartbroken Says:

    I have received my envelope. I am over 55 but still can’t take this offer even with severance (36 weeks), unless they improve it further. I can only take it if I can pay off my mortgage. I am sure our beloved LEADER and his senior staff members (or are they the real controllers here), does not want us to be jobless and homeless both.
    Or do they??????????????

  38. Elmer Fudd's Shotgun Says:

    @ABABU

    The Transformation is still ongoing, the need for VS and VER's is what is required to make the savings required in the extreme short term. The long term savings which will be gained from the work of DoT. One doesn't replace the other.

    Also, having previously worked in DoT at a lower level I wouldn't wish the workload of the Senior Project Managers on anyone. Unfortunately they are an easy target, and results of theres and others hard work won't be felt for a period of a few years

  39. REDSTEVE57 Says:

    I am becoming quite bewildered with the constant calls for pay cuts to stave off the job losses. We as local Government workers have had our pay cut in real terms for the last 5 years or more. I can’t remember exactly when we received a pay rise above inflation or equal to it. Eddie George has announced that to have no rise in pay this coming financial year is tantamount to a 12% pay cut. In 2012/2013 there will be yet another cut in pay in real terms as there will be no pay rise again for us, the Cinderella service.

    My expenditure on gas, electricity, petrol, food etc has risen year on year and no doubt will continue upwards despite the possibility of a further recession and no pay rise.

    If there are staff out there that feel so overwhelmed with fear or grief that they want to save jobs by taking a cut in pay then I say good for you and volunteer with immediate effect, but don’t include me!

    If the cut became compulsory then I for one would fight them with every ounce of my Socialist body.

    As for those that are constantly whingeing and whining about “what’s the union done about it” simple, UNISON negotiated a better deal than compulsory redundancy and agreed on a scheme that is currently voluntary and more beneficial and declared that any move towards compulsory would be treated as a fundamental breakdown in negotiations and appropriate action would be taken to defend the membership. Without UNISON in there fighting for the best deal achievable, though the deal ain’t earth shattering, I dread to think what would have been offered.

    I have no doubt that for those council employees outside of Manchester, that don’t have the commitment to no compulsory redundancies, the issuing of the HR1 is basically a fait de complit and seeing the deal we have will be somewhat envious.

    So before anyone decides to fall on their own swords let’s wait to see what numbers leave through voluntary means.

  40. gladtobeanemployee Says:

    @disgruntled - we can't get rid of Comms team yet, they've got an important assignment to do, as advertised in the Guardian on 18/01/11: Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester council, said it was planning a "cost-effective" media campaign. "The message we will put out is that the reason we are having to make these decisions is because of central government cuts.

  41. notquiteoldenuff Says:

    @heartbroken

    I'm with you on this one. I've actually just missed the 55 but have over 30 years service and my offer is not worth the paper it's written on! Like you I still have a mortgage plus kids to support, and I suspect there are thousands like me and just as worried.

    I personally would have liked to have seen long service rewarded in the offer. This was actually raised at a Unison surgery I attended and the response was that we should be grateful for the extra 6 weeks they negotiated on our behalf for. Thanks for that but it doesn't look after the interests of any member who has paid in 20 years worth of sub's more than someone who will be getting the same offer terms. Both the employers and the unions to blame, long service and loyalty counts for nothing anymore.

    I really think they could have done a little better round the table.

    I'd gladly go and try and get a job elsewhere but the incentive isn't there with this offer and my gut feeling is they won't get the take up they're hoping for, which means redundancies, which judging by the crappy offer I fear was the plan all along. Then I guess it's over to the Unions to renegotiate or ballot for strike action (as I've been advised already)

  42. rythmn of life Says:

    Well Richard - Any more answers?

  43. shycat Says:

    Bolton (I think) are having everybody taking 2-3 days unpaid leave... and save money. Is that a good idea?

  44. Mr X Says:

    Well said Comrade REDSTEVE57 !

  45. Council Worker Says:

    Maybe we should be looking at other ways of saving money and therefore saving jobs.

    A way that has been mentioned in the press is that another local council is changing bins collections. Currently recycle bins are collected every 2 weeks and Black bin is every week, would changing the black bins to every two weeks save money?

    Just a thought?

  46. smb Says:

    @Sir Richard. My mother has worked hard for the council of the past 31 years, Please can you do her a big favour and give her VER with the proposed severance, to allow somone lower down the scale keep there job!

  47. scarlet Says:

    I have to say having read all of the above, that there is still much to be thankful for. Yes these are difficult and challenging times on so many fronts but we do sound like a nation of 'I wants'. I cannot help but wonder how many people have seriously looked at the offer that is being made to them and has seen it as a generous severance offer when compared to the statutory payment that will be made should compulsory redundancies have to be made. I can assure you as someone whose partner has been out of work since compulsory redundnacy last year we are very fortunate indeed. Yes there is a need to be seen to be 'in it together', and I strongly feel that anything that will save front line jobs should be done. But I am not so greedy and self centred to feel hard done to yet, when there are so many up and down the country who have so much less and where the fear they face is immediate and all but certain. The negativity towards the M people process is shocking, this is the opportunity most of us have to access an alternative post. If this was embraced a little more and the paranoid and cynical would keep quiet the rest of us would not be on the brink of 'riding the wave of pure panic' and would be able to exit the building in an orderly fashion. We have contributed all to the overspending of the country, we have lived beyond our means personally and professionally and now it is time to redress the balance and it will be painful, more so for some than others. I wish everyone who has the responsbility of navigating these times wisdom and strength in large quantities because it will take much of both to reduce the opportunities for casualties along the way. As for employees who are full of grumbles, moans and seeking out ways to line their pockets further. Please stop, find some honour and integrity. If you can take the offer take it and be grateful. If you can't stop wishing for more and accept your decision.

  48. Help Says:

    To Scarlet
    What the hell are you on about ?.
    M People will not work due to many people being out of a post - have you tried M People , I have and its even worts the ther Single Status my larky.
    We have been sold down the river by the Leader ,Unions and the Government.Don`t forget it is us people who have worked our socks off over the years to bulid Manchester into the great City it is to day.
    Hope all goes well with M People , you deserve it.

  49. Heartbroken Says:

    @scarlet: wake up- look around you. You dont have to be blind to support then but be reasonable.

  50. Ian Says:

    scarlet Says:
    31/01/2011
    'We have contributed all to the overspending of the country, we have lived beyond our means'

    Now lets see I don't have a morgage that I can't afford in the boom years I did'nt take out a loan I don't have a posh car I pay my credit card of every month and pray tell what did I do to cause this melt down in the capalist system. Did I ask to bail out the banks to a tune of £1.5 trillion pounds(this is the true figure when you inculde all the guerantees we give to their companies). How that they are in profit due to us they're about to take bonoues in millions. So please don't say this was all caused by us it was caused by the greed of bankers who were de-regualated by the last Government. I find your statment all too sweeping.

  51. Aaron H Says:

    Scarlet

    You're right to champion personal responsibility for your own finances.

    We can't put all the ills of the world onto bankers, despite the current financial crisis. Smart bankers take advantage of the system in which they operate, which are regulated and established by the government.

    If you establish a system by which people can take plenty out, as the government did for both corporations and individuals maxing their credit cards and getting 110% mortgages, there will be a fall out at some stage. There is no point detesting banks alone - it is their JOB to make money out of people. It's the whole reason they exist.

    It is wrong that people who have been fiscally responsible should suffer for others. But then I pay my taxes every week and some of it goes towards things that I completely despise. You pay your money and take your chances.

  52. Ian Says:

    Aaron H Says:

    I agree you can't blame the bankers. The problum was that in 1998 the Bankers prior to this date were 100% libal for all major loss's in the transations that they delt with. After this date they were taken out of the loop thereby allowing them to do high rish deals knowing full well they would'nt be held resbonsible for them. Which is in fact what they did, you need to look at German Swedish and Dutch banks that had stiffer regulation and the fact that their banks did'nt get involved. Just one more thing personal debt did not cause the majop problum what did was the massive loans and bad debts RBS and other banks bought from american dealers showing that they had no idea what they were getting into. Saying it was everyones fault makes it easier for them to get taxpayers money.

  53. Peter Burtron Says:

    Jus listened to yet again on the radio showing your pass the buck arrogant manner you have always displayed. The city will be so much better when you go off to retire. You have bought nothing but embarresment for Manchester.

  54. John Strongman Says:

    There are always some savings councils can make and people will quite rightly always have a view on what they think a council should or shouldnt spend money on. But in all this debate an overall perspective of waht is now happening in this country needs to be maintained and the FACT is that the Conservative government, kept in power by the Liberal Democrats, are imposing blatantly unfair and politically motivated cuts on Manchester and adding insult to injury by quite unnecessarily requiring these cuts HAVE to be made in years one and two.
    The wider perspective is that the UK is actually still a very rich country and even if you believe the utter nonsense "its all Gordon Browns fault" and the country HAS to save 150 billion in four years nevertheless lets say that if we were really all in this together the ruling governmet really would look for a "fair" and "progressive" way to sort this deficit(to use George Osbornes words). Fair enough in those circumstances we WOULD look to reduce dependency on welfare by making this system much simpler and by making work genuinely worth it (assuming the jobs are there). Noone is going to defend people who claim benefits fraudulently. But even if we completely eliminated the latter it would raise 2 billion pounds and misadministration 3 billion. Any sensible government would then look at tax evasion and avoidance, which even the Audit Commission putting the latter at 42billion. Surely we would tax bankers bonuses and bank profits more than we are doing, prior to a fundamental reform of the financial sector. Then we ought to look at where the REAL money is in this country ie land and property. A 1% tax-either as a one off or ongoing-on the 160 individuals in this country who own more than 50% of the entire land in this country would raise over 50 billion!! Some sort of tax on all the excess profits so many of us, including myself, have made on the inflation in our house prices -albeit it would be complicated to raise- would furter contribute billions. If you changed the top rate of income tax to apply to people earning £100,000 rather than £150,000 (which would "catch" some of the individuals complained about on these pages) could be brought in though I personally would then use the money saved to further take out of tax/reduce tax at the bottom end those people earning the lowset salaries. Work would then be a mora attractive proposoition for those unemployed/on benefits and if some consequently then went into work savings would further accrue from the welfare bill. All these measures would be a so much fairer method of tackling the deficit without having to decimate basic services to vulnerable and ordinary people in Manchester and everywhere else in this country, which this government is imposing on us all.

  55. dobby Says:

    scarlett

    i like you agree we probably have got a good vs package for top earners me who has a hubby unemployed for the third time in 7 yrs an just about make ends meet was offered £7345 and can take my pension of wait for it £180 a month wooopee after 34 yrs service thanks a lot staff in same dept 6 yrs service £18000 pay off so where does long term service and loyalty get you bloody nowhere thts where and thanks to discrimination against part time staff in the 1970 s I like a lot of other women was not allowed to pay my pension only in the 80s did they allow us in so discrimination went back that far tell me now this has happened would the council be willing to make up for the lost years some how i dont think so do you ?

 

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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