Friday, 24 October 2008

Cameron's favourite council threatens workforce

Hammersmith and Fulham council has threatened it's entire 4200 strong workforce with redundancy, if they do not accept substantially lower employment benefits and conditions.

The council which is seen as a flagship for the 'family friendly' Conservative pary is planning to halve paid maternity leave and cut flexibile hours for workers with school children.

Employees currently have the right to sixteen weeks fully-paid maternity leave and 24 weeks half-paid. This will now be dropped to just six weeks fully-paid and twenty weeks half-paid leave.

Core hours will also be extended to 4.00 pm meaning that employees with young children will no longer be able to fit in the school run.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have been widely applauded by the Conservatives after it implemented a 3% council tax cut.

For a household living in a Band D property this equates to an annual saving of about £35.

However, in order to pay for this, there have been big cuts to voluntary organisations and big hikes in fees and charges. 

These have included increases to the cost of meals on wheels and an increase in burial costs from £660 to £1000.

And while 'efficiencies' have been found here they have not been found in councillor allowances.

Earlier this year council leader and former member of Boris Johnson's 'Forensic Audit Panel' awarded himself an additional £5000 for a role he was already being paid to do.

The year before he also attempted to increase allowances by a inflation busting 18%, an example that has earnestly been taken up at City Hall.

Fight Back

Hammersmith and Fulham Unison branch secretary Noreen Morris said of the council:

"We have faced two years of cuts and are struggling to continue to provide effective services with less resources, in many cases covering for colleagues who have already left.

"Senior managers continue to give themselves large pay increases and to employ large numbers of expensive agency staff.

"To basically threaten them with dismissal unless they accept the new terms and conditions is appalling and a real insult to our hard working staff."

Workers have until April before the threatened redundancies will begin. I wish them the best of luck.


Anonymous said...

If people can't afford to look after their kids then they shouldn't have them in the first place. Why should we have to pay for someone to have six kids on the council while someone else is getting paid to do her job for her? It seems to me that Hammersmith and Fulham are being more than generous.

The Troll said...

Another member of the family friendly conservative party.

Ch Paul said...

H+F is what London would be like if Boris had the balls. It looked to be going that way after the launch of the forensic audit panel and the appointment of Parker, but I think he thought better of it. Someone must have told him that it wouldn't be a good idea to live up to all of Labour's stereotypes for a Tory administration within the first six months.

Tom said...

"Why should we have to pay for someone to have six kids on the council"

On the council? Maternity beds must be in short supply round those parts.

My son has 'Hammersmith' on his birth certificate. I'm investigating having it changed to somewhere with less stigma, like Mogadishu, Pyong Yang or even Glasgow.