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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, August 08, 2008

Staffing crisis?

In recent weeks five top managerial staff in the Social Work Department of the Comhairle have left, taking with them (literally) irreplaceable knowledge and experience.

Although I don't know all of the staff who have left, the ones of whom I have had personal knowledge and experience will be enormous losses to the day-to-day operation of the department.

My understanding is that the prime reason for the upheaval is the restructuring of the department - or more precisely, the long dragged-out dismemberment of the department and the transfer of responsibilities to the Health Board, the Education Department and the Sustainable Communities(!) section.

The staff see no direction from the top, and I don't mean the Director, or respect for what they are delivering. The uncertainty caused by the interminable delays, allied to the probable outcomes of the restructuring have driven these skills off the island.

In an unexpected turn, I understand that one of the very senior members of staff (I'm not going to identify the individual) has a new job in Glasgow, but in a reversal of the norms is commuting from Lewis every week!

On an associated topic, the impact of single status seems to have been to drive large numbers of qualified staff out of the Council, and I understand that Technical Services is facing such a huge skilled staff shortage that it is having to re-employ the same staff as 'consultants' and pay them substantially more or be unable to deliver the necessary work.

This is a prime example of the business acumen of Government - central and local.

16 comments:

not a nic said...

and of course none of this predates single status or dept reviews and so it never started on your watch. or did it? be honest.

Anonymous said...

Comhairle employees are greedy. They want to earn lots of money and do as little work as possible for it. They have recently been rumbled and don't like it. It's similar to throwing teddy out of the pram. Poor things, my heart bleeds. The Comhairle needs a good clear out, I'm sure with all these "senior" and "high profile" leavers nobody has noticed a difference in productivity.

Anonymous said...

Staff are leaving the Comhairle in droves (good bye gift collection boxes are being passed round departments every day) and it's all down to Single Status.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:45 AM, You have not a clue what you are talking about. There are people in there with families who have been treated like livestock. They have had their wages cut. Have been offered a pay rise of 2.5% for the next 3 years, when inflation is at over 4% and the cost of living is a lot higher. The presumption is if you work for the Comhairle you are on a huge wage this is far from the truth.

Anonymous said...

With experience of social work dept, a few heads rolling might be just what is required, having witnessed a young relative very badly let down and placed in a truly dreadful environment. A life damaged for good. Shameful and unforgivable. Good riddance !

Anonymous said...

And having talked to numerous Comhairle staff this was being predicted over 2 years ago.

Allied with the retiral\secondment of Directorate level staff the Comhairle would appear to lacking stable experienced staff at a crucial time.

Is this whole exercise an example of recognising the costs of staff but not the value of staff?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is just about Single Status, or even about elected members (directly). The problem facing the Comhairle is that it lacks leadership at the highest level, and experienced staff are leaving because they have no faith in the ability of those at the top to manage the organisation properly. It's a cliche, but morale has never been so low. It's very sad.

Anonymous said...

The Sustainable Communities (Sus Com) Department is no more - it ceased to exist when it's Director Munro Gold retired at the end of June. So, how could Social Work be transferred to a department that no longer exists?

What has happened to the Sus Com department components? The Waste Management element now falls under Technical Services; Economic Devpt, Planning, Building Control and the Council element of Housing now make up the "Development" Department.

The Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Leisure and Learning elements of the former Sus Com Dept now come under the new Department of "Social and Community Services"

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12pm
And your point is? So what if you are trading under a different name. You still have the same job, same generous pay and benefits. Why are you complaining?

Anon 9:44am
Aaaaah only a 2.5% pay rise over two years while the rest of us would just like a pay rise or even to be paid. If you had to run a business, you would just be happy to have cash in the bank at the end of the week. Council workers have a guaranteed income, fat pension, flexitime, holiday and sick pay, you have no reason to complain but you still do.

Captain Swing said...

As usual whenever Comhairle staffing issues get a mention, we get the usual vindictive, ill thought out bollocks from those who no doubt think life would be better without the Council.
These comments, usually from those who were so intellectually deficient, that they were not able to get a job that pays them the inflated salary that they think their own highly prized experience of all things local government would warrant, let alone one at the Comhairle. All they can do is stand on the sidelines and snipe at those who by dint of their own hard work, whilst at school and thereafter have managed to make something of their life. Sure the Comhairle doesn’t always get it right, but just imagine a world with no Comhairle. A world in which the biggest and strongest bully would always win. No planning laws, no food inspections, and no social services for the old, young, physically and mentally impaired, I could go on. These morons who think the world would be a better place without the Comhairle should perhaps try to live in a world with it.

Captain Swing said...

Oops,before anyone else gets to it my last line should read

'perhaps try to live in a world without it.'

Anonymous said...

anon 10:53 PM are you the same person as anon 7:45 AM. Surely there cannot be two jealous big tits out there who thinks everyone at the Comhairle is making a fortune.

Anonymous said...

All you council workers. Stop getting your knickers in a twist, take a month of with the stress and spend your time watching Trisha. It'll do you some good. Lying down in darkened rooms may also help - no double meaning intended.

PS we are all so very grateful for your massive intellects. Just as well you are all so brainy or God knows what sort of mess we'd be in.

Anonymous said...

Captain Swing
It is just a pity that we will probabaly never know what life is like without the Comhairle.

Quote from one of your planning people - "I have six weeks so I will take six weeks"

Customer Service and commercialism at it's best.

Anonymous said...

I hear that all the Comhairle workers are trying to set up homers for next Wednesday as they all have an extra day's holiday with the strike planned.

The Western Isles will never be so productive.

Captain Swing said...

anon 7:46 PM

Just for the record I do not, and never have worked for the Comhairle.

As to the comment about I have six weeks therefor it will take six weeks,does sound a bit crass, but at least you know where you stand.

Anon 1:04 PM

Just what is your problem? Mr no friends, who thinks nobody knows better than you, or were you not able to get a job at the Comhairle?