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SarahBell

Manchester Massive Cuts

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The 17% figure is political scaremongering. The cuts are 17% of budget, so cutting 17% of staff would be a choice of theirs. Other non-staff stuff could be cut.

Labour through money at councils like this for years. Maybe they should try getting their inhabitants to work and pay tax rather than expecting money to flow in from the blue councils? Cut back to spending what you did before the borrow/spend binge?

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Cut back to spending what you did before the borrow/spend binge?

Difficult when they've been having big pay rises, now they can only hire half as many people for the money they previously spent.

Edited by exiges

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http://manchestermule.com/article/council-chief-clings-to-cash

As Manchester prepares for the Government’s Spending Review MULE tried to speak to Sir Howard Bernstein, the Council’s Chief Executive who recently dismissed calls that town hall chiefs should take pay cuts.

Two weeks ago Sir Howard Bernstein – in effect the city’s top civil servant – responded to Communities Minister Eric Pickle’s call that council bosses earning more than £200,000 should take a 10% cut by saying: “I don’t think this is an issue for discussion with central government. My salary, as chief executive for Manchester, is decided by Manchester city council and the elected leaders.”

Leading by example?

His comments came just a week after the announcement that Greater Manchester Councils would work together to achieve 25% savings. This show of obstinacy came as a slap in the face to many on modest incomes who are seeing their pensions slashed, pay freezes imposed and jobs lost.

The current pay package Sir Howard receives places him in the top 1% of earners in the UK according to 2009 figures from the Office for National Statistics. With Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Councils preparing for a budget cut of a quarter, is it unreasonable to expect those at the top to lead by example?

Last year Sir Howard took home a total pay of £230,000. Part of his remuneration this year included a £19,250 bonus as returning officer for the May elections – despite the chaotic scenes in the Withington constituency when hundreds of voters were disenfranchised due to IT system failure and inadequate staffing. Eventually he donated £4,000 of this sum to charity but was still strongly criticised by MP John Leech. Sir Howard’s audacity becomes all the more acute when looking at the pay increases he has been awarded in recent years. Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request revealed that between the financial years 2005/06 to 2007/08 his salary rose by 17% from £170,664 to £199,056 – this at a time when inflation never topped 3%.

MULE asked Sir Howard to clarify his comments and asked if he would be taking a pay cut in solidarity with low-paid council workers and as a way of helping meet the anticipated 25% cuts. The response? A carbon copy of what he was already quoted as saying. So why now such reticence to speak aloud? Normally civil servants are insulated from the media as they are supposed to be politically neutral. And so there is a whiff of hypocrisy as Sir Howard intervenes at his pleasure and then refuses to justify that which he has publicly defended.

Misleading impression

While cases such as this are rare, they are often used to give a misleading impression of the entire public sector as overpaid in comparison with the private sector. Yet an examination of statistics relating to pay and pensions for the average public sector worker quickly dispels this notion.

Nearly a fifth of people working in the public sector earn less than £7 per hour – a figure commonly described as a ‘living wage’ threshold by many anti-poverty and fair pay campaigners; and of these almost all are women . In total public sector employees account for around quarter of all workers earning beneath this threshold. Moreover a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies declared that “pay levels in the public sector are probably not significantly out of line with those of similar workers in the private sector”; rather the key difference identified was that they receive more generous pensions.

Despite this, the Hutton Report published this month put rest to the myth that all public sector workers enjoy gold-plated pensions: the average annual amount is just £7,800, while around half receive less than £5,600.

Nevertheless the lowest paid council workers in Manchester fare slightly better than many of their counterparts in the private sector. In 2008 the Council took the bold and laudable step of introducing a Manchester Minimum Wage above the national level for all of its employees. At the time it claimed that this would benefit 850 workers although the Council press department now puts this at a lower number of 110 out of an approximate 11,500 total employees.

The rate currently stands at £ 6.84 per hour, just 91p above the national minimum wage – meaning that a full-time worker on this band will earn £12,740 in a year– still however less than half the median national salary of £25,800 and below the £7 per hour living wage rate. Their generosity to the lowest earning should not therefore go overestimated.

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2000 people to lose jobs.

Shocking that they employ so many people.

Would like to see pay levels of entire workforce and then see which ones get cut.

Crikey....

Do you have a linky please?

B

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Part of his remuneration this year included a £19,250 bonus as returning officer for the May elections – despite the chaotic scenes in the Withington constituency when hundreds of voters were disenfranchised due to IT system failure and inadequate staffing.

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Part of his remuneration this year included a £19,250 bonus as returning officer for the May elections – despite the chaotic scenes in the Withington constituency when hundreds of voters were disenfranchised due to IT system failure and inadequate staffing.

I'm missing out here. My contract of employment includes 'any reasonable task'. Clearly I should be getting a big bonus for performing any part of my job that isn't exactly in the description..

More seriously, why isn't there a pay scale for heads of local government? The heads might not like it, but they can always take their talents to the private sector if they are worth it; I doubt there would be a shortage of good candidates if the going rate was £70k p.a.

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Despite this, the Hutton Report published this month put rest to the myth that all public sector workers enjoy gold-plated pensions: the average annual amount is just £7,800, while around half receive less than £5,600.

Nevertheless the lowest paid council workers in Manchester fare slightly better than many of their counterparts in the private sector. In 2008 the Council took the bold and laudable step of introducing a Manchester Minimum Wage above the national level for all of its employees. At the time it claimed that this would benefit 850 workers although the Council press department now puts this at a lower number of 110 out of an approximate 11,500 total employees.

The rate currently stands at £ 6.84 per hour, just 91p above the national minimum wage – meaning that a full-time worker on this band will earn £12,740 in a year– still however less than half the median national salary of £25,800 and below the £7 per hour living wage rate. Their generosity to the lowest earning should not therefore go overestimated.

In preparation for the x20 income multiple he needs to keep his huge wages.

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I'm missing out here. My contract of employment includes 'any reasonable task'. Clearly I should be getting a big bonus for performing any part of my job that isn't exactly in the description..

More seriously, why isn't there a pay scale for heads of local government? The heads might not like it, but they can always take their talents to the private sector if they are worth it; I doubt there would be a shortage of good candidates if the going rate was £70k p.a.

Local government is based on family connections and rampant nepotism. Jobs that are advertised are rarely filled by "outsiders." They hire family or people to whom they owe personal favours. They set their own payscales and there is ZERO public accountability. I came accross the same thing when I lived in Texas where a local Senator filled me in on the realities of local government--good 'ol boy network. I led a protest against sky-high property taxes that were set without regard to any standard. George Bush, then governor, stepped in to help but even he couldn't break the local government cartels either. I lost my case and there was a lot of dissapointed citizens. Texas has the hihgest property taxes in the US BTW. And guess where they got it from? That's right, it is us. Been going on for years.

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2000 people to lose jobs.

Shocking that they employ so many people.

Would like to see pay levels of entire workforce and then see which ones get cut.

I agree. Since 1980 councils have recruited without any thought of cost. All departments have been encouraged to built up their empires. Since 1980 not one local government agency has improved its performance. Like most public organisations two out of three employees are there to service the needs of the third employee and not to improve actual service delivery. I worked as an officer of the council for many years. i can assure you that you could get rid of at least 50% of employees and actually make service delivery better and sharper. Manchester council could dispose of 6000 jobs without any effect on services whatsoever. 2000 is just a token gesture

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2000 people to lose jobs.

Shocking that they employ so many people.

Would like to see pay levels of entire workforce and then see which ones get cut.

Manchester has a population of just under 500,000. Do you really think a council workforce of approximately 12,000 is that many when providing services to so many people. It's only 1 council employee per 42 residents. Think about the schools, refuse services, and road maintenance required in a city the size of Manchester and those services are just a small representative of the services provided across a city. The current workforce is relatively lean, these cuts are going to really screw Manchester over.

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. The current workforce is relatively lean, these cuts are going to really screw Manchester over.

[/quote]

Is this a joke. There are twice as many employees in Manchester council as there was in 1974. With IT there should be half as many today as there was in 1974.

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Manchester's population has also FALLEN since the 70s. Against the national trend.

Its a very bloated council when comparing populations and staff in other councils. Plenty of fat for trimming, staff as well as other stuff.

I work in manchester and don't feel "screwed over". There are plenty of scrounging neighbourhoods that I would like to see screwed over though.

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The scale and scope of services provided today is larger than those provided in 1974. It would be difficult to make a comparison between 1974 and now as so much has changed over the last 37 years.

However does I.T. serve school dinners, does I.T. sweep streets, does I.T provide care services to people in their homes, does I.T. provide social care, does I.T. teach children at school?

I.T. is a wonderful thing for administrative processes but not every function is administrative and the majority can still not be mechanised or provided by I.T. functionality.

Manchester has grown, society has grown, so the council has grown in response.

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Is this a joke. There are twice as many employees in Manchester council as there was in 1974. With IT there should be half as many today as there was in 1974.

I bet the 1974 total included all the housing staff too.

What housing is left owned by MCC? None - it's all been given away to housing organisations hasn't it?

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However does I.T. serve school dinners, does I.T. sweep streets, does I.T provide care services to people in their homes, does I.T. provide social care, does I.T. teach children at school?

Do the council do this? How much is outsourced/centrally funded?

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Is this a joke. There are twice as many employees in Manchester council as there was in 1974. With IT there should be half as many today as there was in 1974.

This goes for many councils....have you considered people may have been employed to keep unemployment down and off benefits, jobs were created that were not necessarily needed.....

...we have more spare capacity that is currently required, where will the work come from to pay people that want to work doing a worthwhile job, that pays a living wage they are well capable and qualified in doing?.....all the jobs that are required do not exist, they are not out there. ;)

Edited by winkie

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Manchester has a population of just under 500,000. Do you really think a council workforce of approximately 12,000 is that many when providing services to so many people. It's only 1 council employee per 42 residents. Think about the schools, refuse services, and road maintenance required in a city the size of Manchester and those services are just a small representative of the services provided across a city. The current workforce is relatively lean, these cuts are going to really screw Manchester over.

The figure is not inclusive of schools (I’m not sure about road maintenance etc. but would doubt it includes that as well). We are talking council staff only.

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The scale and scope of services provided today is larger than those provided in 1974. It would be difficult to make a comparison between 1974 and now as so much has changed over the last 37 years.

However does I.T. serve school dinners, does I.T. sweep streets, does I.T provide care services to people in their homes, does I.T. provide social care, does I.T. teach children at school?

I.T. is a wonderful thing for administrative processes but not every function is administrative and the majority can still not be mechanised or provided by I.T. functionality.

Manchester has grown, society has grown, so the council has grown in response.

Manchester hasn't grown size-wise, the examples you list are the sorts of things that they did then and should be doing now, and what is the increased scope of services since then that are actually worth having? Let's not bother with all that additional rubbish until the basics are done properly, please.

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I bet the 1974 total included all the housing staff too.

What housing is left owned by MCC? None - it's all been given away to housing organisations hasn't it?

In the case where Council Housing is transfered councils still maintains a housing department. Sometimes the housing department is even bigger than when they had housing stock to manage! Also the cost is greater as their wages are no longer 'subsidised' by rents!

Maybe you should phone them and ask to speak to someone from housing?

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Those doubters on here who said there will be no real job losses are now being shown to be wrong. The cuts forced on us by the Torylition amount to an attack on society, as David Cameron and Nick Clegg push on with doing Gordon Brown's dirty work.

The outrageously high salaries paid to top public sector bosses might be scandalous, but most people in the public sector aren't particularly well-paid, and the only real advantage they had over private sector workers was better job security and pension arrangements. Now those two advantages are being taken away too.

Of course, the outrageous salaries paid to public sector top bosses are small fry compared to the sums paid to top bankers and bosses of other PLC's, to top footballers, Formula 1 drivers and showbiz celebrities. And as for the former boss of LLoyds, ehich is 41% owned by the state, getting £2 million bonus - reminiscent of Russian oligarchs.

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