15 June 2012

The Friday Joke - Water(proof)Gate

15 May, absolutely siling down, warden in woolly hat & jumper
The warden did not know this picture was being taken. You can see from the puddles at the kerb how heavy the rain has been and still is.

Sadly today's joke is deadly serious.

Let us remind ourselves of some of the content of the weekly message that Pam Wharfe, the Director responsible for parking & the interim (for now, but how much longer?) Director of Environment, Planning & Regeneration spouted on 4 May

From: First Team
Sent: 04 May 2012 15:20
To: AllStaff

Subject: Weekly message - Pam Wharfe, Interim Director for Environment, Planning and Regeneration

Nick has asked me to write the weekly message as he is at Alexandra Palace in his role as Returning Officer for Barnet and Camden in the GLA elections.

Most of my week has been tied up with the implementation of the One Barnet programme.
Monday was the last full day of the parking staff working directly for the council as they transferred to NSL and RR Donnelly on Tuesday. We had an informal farewell on Monday organised by their colleagues for the staff working in NLBP and the Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) had an event last week. On Wednesday I met with Tracey Lees (Chief Executive) and Deep Sagar (Chair) from the Barnet Group to discuss how things are going with the transfer of Housing Needs staff and looking ahead to how we can work together to address various challenges facing the council. Mr Mustard notes that Pam Wharfe knows so much about the companies to whom she is content to abdicate the responsibility for staff that she can't even spell their name correctly. It is "Donnelley" not "Donnelly".
Tracey in passing said she had noticed that the CEOs out and about in North Finchley had smart new uniforms. This is a striking comparison to my first winter when I was responsible for the service and we discovered we couldn't actually provide enough coats for all the staff. This is a practical example that shows the new provider has a better understanding about how to run this service.

Now read what the GMB union have just said.

Gmb Demands Barnet Parking Enforcement Officer Sacked for Asking for a Waterproof Coat in the Recent Wet We...
So there is the joke. Pam Wharfe says that before NSL, Barnet council couldn't afford enough coats for their outdoor employees (which is palpable nonsense but what she wrote) and NSL have sacked someone partly for asking for a coat (per GMB) in the wettest summer we have seen for ages.

The non-joke part is that an employee who was not on the largest salary, about £110,000 less than the obscene amount that Pam Wharfe is paid, now doesn't know where his next pay cheque will come from or even when he will next have one and he has family responsibilities.

It should go without saying, in a civilised society, that staff who are expected to work outdoors all year round should be automatically provided with the necessary clothing to do their job without the risk of catching pneumonia.

It is also important to note that councillors bang on all the time about how employees who are transferred to a new employer under TUPE+ have the same terms and conditions as they had before the transfer. That must mean that if there is a family friendly staff policy at Barnet Council  then the same family friendly policy should be in place at NSL. The staff did not ask for a new employer and should be no worse off if one is foisted upon them. 

Mr Mustard will follow the story of Mr Ojikutu and report the outcome to you.

Update 08.30: Mr Mustard found a little time to see what he could find out about family friendly policies at Barnet Council and here they are.
The London Borough of Barnet - Pay and Benefits

You will have spotted the howler on the first page. "High caliber individuals" and of course there is no such thing. There are "High calibre individuals" around but one of them didn't write the offending page. Caliber is the spelling favoured in America and if all the One Barnet consultants could move there, as they will evidently feel right at home, Mr Mustard would be delighted.

Have a nice day now.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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