Staff are "in depression" about Worcestershire County Council changes, says Unison

Malvern Gazette: County Hall: Unison say they will fight to keep jobs in-house County Hall: Unison say they will fight to keep jobs in-house

UNION bosses in Worcestershire have revealed their pain over 1,500 job cuts at the county council - saying workers are "furious" and "in depression" about the massive changes ahead.

As your Worcester News revealed today, Worcestershire County Council is planning to hive off 85 per cent of its services by 2018 and dramatically shrink to its smallest ever size.

The move, which will leave just 2,000 in-house posts, was voted through during a tense full council meeting to signal its biggest structural change in history.

Jim Price, secretary of the council's Unison branch, said: "What's been so concerning to us is that the council has made it pretty clear that they want to privatise as many services as they can, even if it might not lead to savings.

"Only last week we heard that children going into care has gone up 22 per cent in five years, and the council themselves were citing poverty, the economy and homelessness as reasons.

"I don't see any joined up thinking, surely with these changes it will only make things worse.

"Staff are saying 'they don't want us any more', it's a time of massive uncertainty for them and more than half our members could be implicated.

"There is a palpable sense of anger and resentment, I would say people are furious but it's gone beyond that now, they are in depression.

"We will fight to save our jobs and services and keep them in-house.

"The worst option is that we see service closures, the least worst is that we can get agreements like staff co-operatives in place in some areas."

The council's Conservative leadership is focusing on finding new providers for as many services as possible that will take workers with them, mitigating at least some of the job losses.

That could mean the private sector but also other parties like charities, voluntary groups, not-for-profit organisations and new arms-length organisations.

The project is aimed at cutting the budget by around £100 million by 2018 in response to huge demographic pressures and reduced Government funding.

Members of the Conservative cabinet, who backed it on Thursday after opposition from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Green Party, say they are confident.

Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for commissioning and transformation, said: "I think the staff 'get' that this council is getting dramatically smaller, we are getting fewer resources and I see this as mitigating for those reductions.

"For me, it's about reform that will allow services to carry on in our communities that would otherwise cease to exist.

"It's an operating model which offers an alternative vision."

Comments (22)

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4:36pm Fri 16 May 14

mrwrighty says...

Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in.

It was only a matter of time before this happened. We cannot carry such an enormous publicly funded organisation any longer. Hopefully they will also be cutting the golden hellos, the golden goodbyes, the pension top ups, the inflated expenses the jolly's, sorry trips etc.
Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in. It was only a matter of time before this happened. We cannot carry such an enormous publicly funded organisation any longer. Hopefully they will also be cutting the golden hellos, the golden goodbyes, the pension top ups, the inflated expenses the jolly's, sorry trips etc. mrwrighty
  • Score: -2

5:08pm Fri 16 May 14

skychip says...

Too good for too long although I feel sorry that the employees will live with uncertainty until a final decision is made.
Too good for too long although I feel sorry that the employees will live with uncertainty until a final decision is made. skychip
  • Score: -4

6:02pm Fri 16 May 14

yamoto says...

welcome to the real world !
welcome to the real world ! yamoto
  • Score: -14

7:10pm Fri 16 May 14

pinkfluff says...

I do believe the above commentors have been misinformed about working for a local authority.
I do believe the above commentors have been misinformed about working for a local authority. pinkfluff
  • Score: 19

7:51pm Fri 16 May 14

Moltaire says...

Oh, what a shame. Welcome to the real world council workers!!

This is what so many people working for private companies have had to put up with for years and while I appreciate that council workers have taken some pain over the past few years, but the end result still sees them much better off. Better wages, better working conditions, better pensions and better perks and benefits for example. And I regularly have meetings at county hall and often see staff doing very little work, so productivity and hard work is not equal to much of the private sector either.

At last, it seems like Worcestershire county council will be entering the real world.
Oh, what a shame. Welcome to the real world council workers!! This is what so many people working for private companies have had to put up with for years and while I appreciate that council workers have taken some pain over the past few years, but the end result still sees them much better off. Better wages, better working conditions, better pensions and better perks and benefits for example. And I regularly have meetings at county hall and often see staff doing very little work, so productivity and hard work is not equal to much of the private sector either. At last, it seems like Worcestershire county council will be entering the real world. Moltaire
  • Score: -5

8:24pm Fri 16 May 14

jb says...

Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.
Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs. jb
  • Score: -3

10:32pm Fri 16 May 14

Piccolo says...

Perhaps much of the above negativity was predictable, but not a single word about - or perhaps thought for? - the people who will genuinely suffer from the slashing of essential services. Bit of a shame that.
Perhaps much of the above negativity was predictable, but not a single word about - or perhaps thought for? - the people who will genuinely suffer from the slashing of essential services. Bit of a shame that. Piccolo
  • Score: 14

6:00am Sat 17 May 14

jb says...

Piccolo wrote:
Perhaps much of the above negativity was predictable, but not a single word about - or perhaps thought for? - the people who will genuinely suffer from the slashing of essential services. Bit of a shame that.
I appreciate that there will be many people who will be directly affected by the knock on effects of these cuts both the workers losing their jobs and the cuts to services, my son is disabled and I doubt the problems we've faced in the past will be a patch on what is to come. All we can hope is that the decisions that have and will be made on out sourcing and commissioning of services are made after lengthy and thorough deliberation and not influenced by outside influences,
[quote][p][bold]Piccolo[/bold] wrote: Perhaps much of the above negativity was predictable, but not a single word about - or perhaps thought for? - the people who will genuinely suffer from the slashing of essential services. Bit of a shame that.[/p][/quote]I appreciate that there will be many people who will be directly affected by the knock on effects of these cuts both the workers losing their jobs and the cuts to services, my son is disabled and I doubt the problems we've faced in the past will be a patch on what is to come. All we can hope is that the decisions that have and will be made on out sourcing and commissioning of services are made after lengthy and thorough deliberation and not influenced by outside influences, jb
  • Score: -1

11:55am Sat 17 May 14

pinkfluff says...

jb wrote:
Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.
What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008.
[quote][p][bold]jb[/bold] wrote: Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.[/p][/quote]What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008. pinkfluff
  • Score: 13

5:36pm Sat 17 May 14

jb says...

Does anyone know any private contractor who has been or are doing work for the county council, sub contracting, out sourcing? If you do you'll understand what I meant in my previous comment.
Does anyone know any private contractor who has been or are doing work for the county council, sub contracting, out sourcing? If you do you'll understand what I meant in my previous comment. jb
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Sat 17 May 14

Harry2nd says...

It's not the staff who will suffer it's the services that were provided. Make them privatised and all that matters are targets are savings. Let's all comment in 12 months and see who the winners and losers are.
It's not the staff who will suffer it's the services that were provided. Make them privatised and all that matters are targets are savings. Let's all comment in 12 months and see who the winners and losers are. Harry2nd
  • Score: 6

1:07pm Mon 19 May 14

themooman says...

pinkfluff wrote:
jb wrote: Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.
What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008.
then get a better paid job!?!
[quote][p][bold]pinkfluff[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jb[/bold] wrote: Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.[/p][/quote]What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008.[/p][/quote]then get a better paid job!?! themooman
  • Score: -17

1:38pm Mon 19 May 14

Fishy says...

My post was made redundant during cuts when I worked in the private sector. It was unpleasant but over quickly.

Council cuts on the other hand have been going on for over 3 years and far more difficult to deal with as an employee. I survived the first round of cuts but then we heard that there were yet more and it just went on and on. I could look for another job but doubt whether things would be any better elsewhere and changing jobs be just one more source of stress.

I'm just praying that I can keep my job until the mortgage is paid off.
My post was made redundant during cuts when I worked in the private sector. It was unpleasant but over quickly. Council cuts on the other hand have been going on for over 3 years and far more difficult to deal with as an employee. I survived the first round of cuts but then we heard that there were yet more and it just went on and on. I could look for another job but doubt whether things would be any better elsewhere and changing jobs be just one more source of stress. I'm just praying that I can keep my job until the mortgage is paid off. Fishy
  • Score: 8

8:27pm Mon 19 May 14

George Rowlinson says...

Elected members will realise the error of their ways when they find that contractors' staff are not as easily, or readily, accessible as their officers were.
Elected members will realise the error of their ways when they find that contractors' staff are not as easily, or readily, accessible as their officers were. George Rowlinson
  • Score: 8

1:19pm Tue 20 May 14

green49 says...

I think some of the usuial im alright jacks comments just show their mentality,
Harry2nd says...

It's not the staff who will suffer, dognut of course they will, it could be your mother,father,son or daughter losing there livelyhood,Cant pay the mortgage etc at least they get up and go to work,

There really are some dumb stupid people comments on here who have a preconception of a council staff worker, where is this golden goose? where are all the perks? come on lets see some EVIDENCE from these idots, and yes Harry2 lets just see in 12 months whats happened, it will be too late to complain when there are no services running properly, Private services are not accountable to the TAXPaYER but the councils are and they wont be able to do anything about **** services, there have alreaday been some private service contracts cancelled due to failure of not delivering the contract, Council staff oversee that YOU and I as taxpayers get what we are paying Tax for, if they go who will check it then? I am Peed of with the idiots on here who think that Private is better, it maybe in a few cases but NOT in my experience, just look at, Gas and Electric power companies,Railways,T
elecom,Water, all ripping us off, Thats what Private companies do and they are being put in by the same CONservative party that are doing cuts now.
I think some of the usuial im alright jacks comments just show their mentality, Harry2nd says... It's not the staff who will suffer, dognut of course they will, it could be your mother,father,son or daughter losing there livelyhood,Cant pay the mortgage etc at least they get up and go to work, There really are some dumb stupid people comments on here who have a preconception of a council staff worker, where is this golden goose? where are all the perks? come on lets see some EVIDENCE from these idots, and yes Harry2 lets just see in 12 months whats happened, it will be too late to complain when there are no services running properly, Private services are not accountable to the TAXPaYER but the councils are and they wont be able to do anything about **** services, there have alreaday been some private service contracts cancelled due to failure of not delivering the contract, Council staff oversee that YOU and I as taxpayers get what we are paying Tax for, if they go who will check it then? I am Peed of with the idiots on here who think that Private is better, it maybe in a few cases but NOT in my experience, just look at, Gas and Electric power companies,Railways,T elecom,Water, all ripping us off, Thats what Private companies do and they are being put in by the same CONservative party that are doing cuts now. green49
  • Score: 10

1:24pm Tue 20 May 14

green49 says...

mrwrighty says...

Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in.
you should have some sympathy with those who will be made redundant then but i dont feel you do,

No its not a nice situation to be in you have been unlucky? problem with the WCC situation is , IT is not neccessary and you and i as taxpayers will foot the bill,
mrwrighty says... Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in. you should have some sympathy with those who will be made redundant then but i dont feel you do, No its not a nice situation to be in you have been unlucky? problem with the WCC situation is , IT is not neccessary and you and i as taxpayers will foot the bill, green49
  • Score: 1

6:14pm Tue 20 May 14

pinkfluff says...

themooman wrote:
pinkfluff wrote:
jb wrote: Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.
What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008.
then get a better paid job!?!
Deliberately missing the point. I work in the care/support services which are poorly paid but that's another issue.
[quote][p][bold]themooman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pinkfluff[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jb[/bold] wrote: Staff are 'in depression'.... A certain department in the county council left me in depression for over three years because certain officers and managers failed to do their jobs and ensure others did theirs! The Golden Goose will no longer be laying any eggs.[/p][/quote]What golden egg is that jb? In 2014 I was earning £1 an hour more than I was in 2008.[/p][/quote]then get a better paid job!?![/p][/quote]Deliberately missing the point. I work in the care/support services which are poorly paid but that's another issue. pinkfluff
  • Score: 3

6:43pm Tue 20 May 14

mrwrighty says...

green49 wrote:
mrwrighty says...

Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in.
you should have some sympathy with those who will be made redundant then but i dont feel you do,

No its not a nice situation to be in you have been unlucky? problem with the WCC situation is , IT is not neccessary and you and i as taxpayers will foot the bill,
Sorry but I do sympathise, I thought I made that clear in my comment as I have been in the same situation. The problem is that the number of public sector employees has risen dramatically and skews the employment figures (Smoke and mirrors and all that.). As Tax payers we will foot the bill whether they are employed or made redundant, but redundancy is a one off payment. salaries a paid every year so although we may take a hit now for the redundancy payoffs, in future the running costs will fall.
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: mrwrighty says... Sorry, but welcome to the real world. I have been made redundant 3 times and it is not a nice situation to be in. you should have some sympathy with those who will be made redundant then but i dont feel you do, No its not a nice situation to be in you have been unlucky? problem with the WCC situation is , IT is not neccessary and you and i as taxpayers will foot the bill,[/p][/quote]Sorry but I do sympathise, I thought I made that clear in my comment as I have been in the same situation. The problem is that the number of public sector employees has risen dramatically and skews the employment figures (Smoke and mirrors and all that.). As Tax payers we will foot the bill whether they are employed or made redundant, but redundancy is a one off payment. salaries a paid every year so although we may take a hit now for the redundancy payoffs, in future the running costs will fall. mrwrighty
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Tue 20 May 14

Harry2nd says...

green49 wrote:
I think some of the usuial im alright jacks comments just show their mentality,
Harry2nd says...

It's not the staff who will suffer, dognut of course they will, it could be your mother,father,son or daughter losing there livelyhood,Cant pay the mortgage etc at least they get up and go to work,

There really are some dumb stupid people comments on here who have a preconception of a council staff worker, where is this golden goose? where are all the perks? come on lets see some EVIDENCE from these idots, and yes Harry2 lets just see in 12 months whats happened, it will be too late to complain when there are no services running properly, Private services are not accountable to the TAXPaYER but the councils are and they wont be able to do anything about **** services, there have alreaday been some private service contracts cancelled due to failure of not delivering the contract, Council staff oversee that YOU and I as taxpayers get what we are paying Tax for, if they go who will check it then? I am Peed of with the idiots on here who think that Private is better, it maybe in a few cases but NOT in my experience, just look at, Gas and Electric power companies,Railways,T

elecom,Water, all ripping us off, Thats what Private companies do and they are being put in by the same CONservative party that are doing cuts now.
You have completely misinterpreted my post. I am a council worker and I was trying to say that privatisation is not a good thing. Of course we will be affected but so will those relying on the services we provide. Don't be so quick to judge and insult.
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: I think some of the usuial im alright jacks comments just show their mentality, Harry2nd says... It's not the staff who will suffer, dognut of course they will, it could be your mother,father,son or daughter losing there livelyhood,Cant pay the mortgage etc at least they get up and go to work, There really are some dumb stupid people comments on here who have a preconception of a council staff worker, where is this golden goose? where are all the perks? come on lets see some EVIDENCE from these idots, and yes Harry2 lets just see in 12 months whats happened, it will be too late to complain when there are no services running properly, Private services are not accountable to the TAXPaYER but the councils are and they wont be able to do anything about **** services, there have alreaday been some private service contracts cancelled due to failure of not delivering the contract, Council staff oversee that YOU and I as taxpayers get what we are paying Tax for, if they go who will check it then? I am Peed of with the idiots on here who think that Private is better, it maybe in a few cases but NOT in my experience, just look at, Gas and Electric power companies,Railways,T elecom,Water, all ripping us off, Thats what Private companies do and they are being put in by the same CONservative party that are doing cuts now.[/p][/quote]You have completely misinterpreted my post. I am a council worker and I was trying to say that privatisation is not a good thing. Of course we will be affected but so will those relying on the services we provide. Don't be so quick to judge and insult. Harry2nd
  • Score: 0

8:44am Wed 21 May 14

green49 says...

Harry2nd It's not the staff who will suffer, That was your post they WILL suffer maybe you didnt put on what you actually ment then? if thats so i apologise but as it read that was what i interpreted it at,

Where are all these Private companies who will take on the services? the council are in fantasy land thinking they will be queuing at the door to take up the services, and pay them next to nothing, As i said before some have lost contracts due to bad service,

mrwrighty We as taxpayers will not benefit from this, we will still be footing the bill mainly for putting right what Private companies will **** up, i have seen it so much, as i said before some are ok not great just ok, you will have no come back when it all goes ****up and it is just not neccessary, this Governments yes men the WCC are devastating this countries support system, already a major charity has lost its funding again the most vunerable people to the tune of half a million, yet the CONservatives will tell you its not there doing.
Harry2nd It's not the staff who will suffer, That was your post they WILL suffer maybe you didnt put on what you actually ment then? if thats so i apologise but as it read that was what i interpreted it at, Where are all these Private companies who will take on the services? the council are in fantasy land thinking they will be queuing at the door to take up the services, and pay them next to nothing, As i said before some have lost contracts due to bad service, mrwrighty We as taxpayers will not benefit from this, we will still be footing the bill mainly for putting right what Private companies will **** up, i have seen it so much, as i said before some are ok not great just ok, you will have no come back when it all goes ****up and it is just not neccessary, this Governments yes men the WCC are devastating this countries support system, already a major charity has lost its funding again the most vunerable people to the tune of half a million, yet the CONservatives will tell you its not there doing. green49
  • Score: 5

12:35pm Thu 22 May 14

Hwicce says...

green49 - I work for one of these companies and I can assure you that we and our competitors are only too pleased to take on this work.

We have already some big outsourced Local Authority contracts (all around the country) and having talked to some of the ex-Council staff who have transferred to us they are very happy to have come into the private sector. The contacts we have are saving the Councils money and making us profits. We have not got rid of jobs, in fact we are recruiting more staff. The profits come from taking (extremely) inefficient processes and modernising them, investing in training and better processes, and then taking on more work with the same staff.

It can work and it does work.
green49 - I work for one of these companies and I can assure you that we and our competitors are only too pleased to take on this work. We have already some big outsourced Local Authority contracts (all around the country) and having talked to some of the ex-Council staff who have transferred to us they are very happy to have come into the private sector. The contacts we have are saving the Councils money and making us profits. We have not got rid of jobs, in fact we are recruiting more staff. The profits come from taking (extremely) inefficient processes and modernising them, investing in training and better processes, and then taking on more work with the same staff. It can work and it does work. Hwicce
  • Score: 2

2:54pm Thu 22 May 14

green49 says...

Hwicce,It can work and it does work.

in reply, i have said before some companies are good but just because others are keen to take on the work in my experience there are more bad ones than good ones, i will always give praise to those who have the right approach and thats important to do the job right, most people do not say that but when i see things that are very wrong i will let it be known, i am involved in the caring side of things, not employed by the council and i only speak from what i know first hand or what has been my experience,
Hwicce,It can work and it does work. in reply, i have said before some companies are good but just because others are keen to take on the work in my experience there are more bad ones than good ones, i will always give praise to those who have the right approach and thats important to do the job right, most people do not say that but when i see things that are very wrong i will let it be known, i am involved in the caring side of things, not employed by the council and i only speak from what i know first hand or what has been my experience, green49
  • Score: 2

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