Here’s the lowdown on how Wirral Council’s “Four days unpaid leave for staff” brainwave will pan out:
And be reassured if you work for the council. Graham “Mistakes” Burgess volunteered for these drastic measures at Blackburn with Darwen Council. He may have taken a hit in the pay packet at the time, having to scrape by on a miserly £155,984, but it was one of the wheezes that in the long term brought some very real personal advantages his way.
That said, he wasn’t alone in taking the hit. He was kept company by a very large number of poorly paid colleagues – who I imagine could ill afford to be press-ganged or coerced with menaces into accepting pay cuts. Even today, it’s become clear that one in six people in the UK have no savings to fall back on if they lose their jobs. A wage coming in, no matter how derisory, is everything. Threaten to remove your people’s job security and hey presto! they’ll even accept a pay cut, just to cling on.
Still, happily, the silver lining here is that Graham’s council won awards for innovation, and his own personal prestige went through the roof in the eyes of similarly ££wealthy movers and shakers (and Andrew Neil), and several overstuffed diners at the top table in Local Government.
And on the strength of these achievements, here he is, splitting the council down the middle, but cemented in at Wirral for the duration, ready to do it all again.
Here’s a news story from the heady Blackburn days:
UPDATE 22nd May 2013
The four days unpaid leave has been accepted by the unions, along with UNISON (the former employer of the council’s Chief Executive) ……….of course ! Joe Taylor, the rep who “won” this deal for his members is now safely over the finishing line and nowhere to be seen.
— Wirral In It 2gether (@Wirral_In_It) May 22, 2013