Posted tagged ‘BBC’

Morally Deficient?

January 23, 2012

Eric being moral?

We’re not really the sort of people who have New Year’s resolutions but when the excellent Guardian Local Government Network asked us to name one we said that we were going to be nicer to Eric Pickles in 2012. And you know what; we meant it.

Unfortunately, much like the diet, alcohol ban, gym attendance and intention to spend less money on cheesy Wotsits this New Year’s resolution has not made it to February.

So what caused our feelings towards Mr Pickles to turn so rapidly? Before showing the headline it is probably worth reminding people that Mr Pickles has offered every council money equivalent to a 2.5% increase in council tax and in return the council has to commit not to increase their tax this year. So back to our outrage…

One headline can sum it up:

Councils have ‘moral duty’ on tax – Eric Pickles.

A moral duty?!? As in this is an absolute? As in this is correct and any other interpretation is thus immoral?

Are you kidding me?


(Not) Getting Sacked

October 27, 2011

Not getting fired

At the moment I find it highly unlikely that I will ever get fired; made redundant almost certainly, sacked, exactly the opposite.

This is both because I consider myself to be a hard worker and fairly good at my job but also because I am a local government worker and sacking one of them is an absolute nightmare. I therefore find myself in the odd position of supporting the sentiment behind the policy suggestions put forward by venture capitalist and Conservative Party donor Adrian Beecroft who has argued that unproductive workers should lose their right to claim unfair dismissal.

I’m sure this post is about to prompt a flurry of upset from our readers as a member of staff who occasionally has to work alongside the incompetent (or the indifferent) I simply beg to differ.

One of my good friends still shudders when we mention his first management job in local government. He took over a team which had been radically under-performing and as a young (ish) manager he was managing people older than him who had been in the council for quite a while.

One of them was more than just a coaster; she was chronically incompetent. After spending six months trying to work with her to improve her performance, all of which was thrown back in his face, (including towards the end using the official council procedures) my manager decided that it was time to start the long process of removing her. What followed was a flurry of grievances, the threat of tribunals and intermittent periods of stress related sickness (for her not him). The process lasted a staggering 16 months (I think this included the first 6) and right at the end the member of staff resigned so that she wouldn’t be fired.