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The Council That Sacked All 6,500 Staff... And Will Only Re-Hire Them If They Agree To Take A Pay Cut


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This would be constructive dismissal and a pretty easy win at an employment tribunal. At this point the council will have to pay compensation.

Which ever dingo thought this up should be fired. What they should have done is frozen pay for everyone including the council leader and his 60 bum chums. Maybe if they were decent people the chief exec and cronies should have taken a 50% pay cut.

What do you think this is Japan? When JAL collapsed the CEO took a massive pay cut down to the average company salary inc the trolly dollies and the ground crew.

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What do you think this is Japan? When JAL collapsed the CEO took a massive pay cut down to the average company salary inc the trolly dollies and the ground crew.

I wish we could see that here, won't happen though.

For those wanting the law changed so that contracts can be unilaterally changed by one party you have to consider the unintended consequences. The ruling elite might not want the general populace to get the idea that a contract is just a piece of paper and can be ignored if you don't like it any more.

Amending contract law would be tricky to say the least, you then have to get European law amended as well.

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Personally I'm with others on here who think the biggest cuts should be at the hgher end of the pay scales. Someone on here had a good idea a while back: 50% off everything above 30k. Something like that would be better.

I remember doing some work on the HR system of a city council once. I thought Id check out the salaries that were being paid and it surprised me to find that one of the top-five paid people in the council was the Town Planner. If I remember correctly he was in third place. Once I got off the top grades of which there were few - the majority weren't paid huge amounts.

Edited by Alan B'Stard MP
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why on earth would they do that if they know they will be rehired on less pay!
The big upfront redundancy payout.
Surely they are simply giving all staff notice that they are changing their contracts. If the employee isn't happy with the change then the contact is terminated.
You can't "terminate" someone for refusing to accept new contract terms... you can at best maybe make them redundant, otherwise they simple stay on the same terms. You have to have a reason to sack someone. Poor work etc isn't enough, you have to show you've done reviews, set achievable targets and tried to help them improve. the only way to actually be sure of SACKING someone is to have cast iron proof they have broken the law... fraud, theft etc.
This would be constructive dismissal and a pretty easy win at an employment tribunal. At this point the council will have to pay compensation.
Open and shut case.
What do you think this is Japan? When JAL collapsed the CEO took a massive pay cut down to the average company salary inc the trolly dollies and the ground crew.
Because the company was actually BANKRUPT. Technically they could just have sacked him without a payoff if an agreement wasn't acheived.
Amending contract law would be tricky to say the least, you then have to get European law amended as well.
You would have to get the european courts to agree to effectively make all contracts worthless. Good luck with that.
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Because the company was actually BANKRUPT. Technically they could just have sacked him without a payoff if an agreement wasn't acheived.

The UK is BANKRUPT, so is the EU and the USA and yet the leaders don't take massive pay cuts do they?

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The UK is BANKRUPT, so is the EU and the USA and yet the leaders don't take massive pay cuts do they?
COUNTRIES don't normally go bankrupt like companies do... they just print their way to oblivion. Well until the Euro anyway, where countries aren't supposed to be able to simple print money to pay debts. :ph34r:
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The governement should have done this with RBS, Lloyds, Halifax, Northern Rock, BOS etc when they we took the thieving 5hits over.

50% cut on all salaries above £100k, ditto bonuses. We're all in this together after all.

Edited by PopGun
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This would be constructive dismissal and a pretty easy win at an employment tribunal. At this point the council will have to pay compensation.

Which ever dingo thought this up should be fired. What they should have done is frozen pay for everyone including the council leader and his 60 bum chums. Maybe if they were decent people the chief exec and cronies should have taken a 50% pay cut.

From direct.gov.uk

"If you don't agree, your employer is not allowed to just bring in a change. However, they can terminate your contract (by giving notice) and offer you a new one including the revised terms - effectively sacking you and taking you back on."

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Bury council did this a few years ago, except it excluded all those above £45K IIRC.

http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/burynews/3576565.Council_workers_facing_massive_wage_cuts/

And unsurprisingly, the CEO in that case also awarded himself a massive pay rise after cutting the wages of all his frontline workers - from 2008-09 to 2009-10 his pay jumped from £164,989 to £192,982 - a 17% pay rise in one year alone.

This is simple cronyisim, the appointees enrichen themselves and their public school chums while screwing the workers below them.

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Not if they take volunary redundancy.

If they make them compulsory redundant, they can't hire anyone to do a similar role of any role any of the staff could have done instead for at least 6 months.

Basically I think it's a bluff to try and force a deal.

Exactly. If the Council is solvent they will have to pay handsome redundancy pay too. It doesn't make sense.

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From direct.gov.uk

"If you don't agree, your employer is not allowed to just bring in a change. However, they can terminate your contract (by giving notice) and offer you a new one including the revised terms - effectively sacking you and taking you back on."

The line directly below that reads "Your employer would be expected to follow a statutory minimum dismissal procedure. They may have to follow a collective redundancy consultation process if they plan to do this to a group of employees."

The "statutory minimum dismissal procedure" includes stuff like paying redundancy and trying to find you other work. The sort of situation where the rule might apply would be if the firm was relocating to another area or changing to work nights and you didn't want to move house/hours.

Edited by RufflesTheGuineaPig
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The line directly below that reads "Your employer would be expected to follow a statutory minimum dismissal procedure. They may have to follow a collective redundancy consultation process if they plan to do this to a group of employees."

The "statutory minimum dismissal procedure" includes stuff like paying redundancy and trying to find you other work. The sort of situation where the rule might apply would be if the firm was relocating to another area or changing to work nights and you didn't want to move house/hours.

Yep.. it's a really opaque area. Probably deliberately.

If you don't accept the new contract - or if you've accepted the new one but feel there was no good reason for ending the old one - you have the right to make an unfair dismissal claim provided you've at least one year of continuous service with your employer. You may also be able to claim redundancy if you have at least two years service.

If there is a sound business reason for the change, and your employer has properly consulted you and looked into any alternatives, you could find it difficult to win your claim.

I guess if a department/company is losing money and is faced with the choice of redundancies or "contract renegotiation" you could argue that it is based on a sound business reason.

I wonder if there are any precedents?

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Yep.. it's a really opaque area. Probably deliberately.

I guess if a department/company is losing money and is faced with the choice of redundancies or "contract renegotiation" you could argue that it is based on a sound business reason.

I wonder if there are any precedents?

Its going to be a tough one to prove when the council leader has protected his own vast salary and that of his 60 chums. An ultimatum is not contract negotiation, one of the measures expected is to offer voluntary redundancy. There are many steps to take before sacking everyone.

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I remember doing some work on the HR system of a city council once. I thought Id check out the salaries that were being paid and it surprised me to find that one of the top-five paid people in the council was the Town Planner. If I remember correctly he was in third place. Once I got off the top grades of which there were few - the majority weren't paid huge amounts.

This is fairly true of most local authorities. The last AUthority I work for had a structure as follows;

CEO - top of scale £130K

Directors - Top of scale £95K

Heads of Service - TOS 80K

Operational Managers - TOS £44K

The difference between the 3rd and 4th tier was almost double yet most of the operational services (the ones that counted) were effectively run by 4th tier staff.

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The big upfront redundancy payout.

You can't "terminate" someone for refusing to accept new contract terms... you can at best maybe make them redundant, otherwise they simple stay on the same terms. You have to have a reason to sack someone. Poor work etc isn't enough, you have to show you've done reviews, set achievable targets and tried to help them improve. the only way to actually be sure of SACKING someone is to have cast iron proof they have broken the law... fraud, theft etc.

Open and shut case.

Because the company was actually BANKRUPT. Technically they could just have sacked him without a payoff if an agreement wasn't acheived.

You would have to get the european courts to agree to effectively make all contracts worthless. Good luck with that.

100% agree and this not just a public sector thing.

I worked for a pub CO that took over another with the staff TUPE'd over. Those staff had better terms and conditions and despite the chargrin of my company they were legal advised they had to accept it.

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Funny how the sanctity of contracts is watertight when it comes to paying off failed bankers but not when it comes to the rights of the 'little' people.

I wonder how many of these workers will do the numbers and work out that the pay cut makes working less viable than being unemployed?

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Given the age structure of many council workforces I suspect any savings will be swallowed up by a significant % saying no ta - I'll take the redundancy / early retirement option :lol:
A lot of people struggle to understand that as many of the pensions for these people are unfunded, the people with cost the same after retirement as they do when they are working. (Between Pension, Council Tax discounts, free healthcare etc etc)
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Very short term money thinking as the likely knock on effects on performance will be huge!

It's like a big kick in the teeth.

Morale - will take years to fix. Getting high performance staff in will be hard.

I can see bad ofsted reports on the horizon, all sorts of problems.

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