Skip to main content

Labour's poison pill legacy for Birmingham

3billionlabourcostcropped
The employment tribunal hearing this week is not the end of a legal dispute about the pay structures that Birmingham City Council had operated over a number of years. However, it does bring to the fore the problems left to the current administration by Labour.

The Council faces potentially a really large additional bill for compensation because indefensible bonus schemes applied to much of the male workforce, but not the generally female jobs.

The problem, however, arose because of the schemes established by Labour when they were in control of the authority as has been recognised by the Birmingham Post in Iron Angle
Labour spin doctors in London were quick off the mark, seeking to present the city council’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition as a bunch of incompetent, merciless, misogynists discriminating against downtrodden women.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of the council’s opposition group, fumed that the whole issue of equal pay had been mishandled. Birmingham would now pay the price.

Yes, well, mishandled indeed, but not necessarily by the current Tory-Lib Dem administration.

The outrageous and indefensible “bonus” payments were in fact put in place largely during the 21 years of Labour council rule from the mid 1980s to 2004 as the party bowed to trade union demands. Union demands which, incidentally, were expressly designed to reward male employees over low-paid women.

The first part of Judge Goodier’s ruling sheds light on the chaos encircling Sir Albert as his period as leader of the council shuddered to a sticky end in the run-up to the 2004 city elections.

Desperately attempting to hatch a deal on Single Status pay negotiations, Albert was faced by the unions’ position that “it was the fault of Birmingham City Council” that employees were receiving bonus payments and that it would be unfair to remove them.


The judgment itself recognises that it was only when the administration changed that there was any impetus for the indefensible schemes to be changed.

The judgment is not the final step. Many of the cases relate to employees working in schools. In those schools the grade for the staff member is identified by the governing body. That should mean that under the "single source" principle their income should only be compared to people working in the same school.

However, that is a matter that the courts need to be look at. Even if the administration manages to win a legal case on this voters in looking at the local elections should be quite clear that they cannot risk ever putting the inoompetent Labour Party back in control of the city council.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Gender Issues comparison of candidates

John Hemming believes that an MP should represent everyone in their constituency.  This should be regardless of their race, religion, gender, abledness, sexual orientation or anything else.  It should be everyone.

When he was an MP he worked on issues relating to men, those relating to women and those relating to non-binary people. Everyone.

For example here is John Hemming on a demonstration outside the courts with the campaign group Women Against Rape (it related to the case of a mother who had her child removed from her because the mother was raped).




Jess Phillips, who campaigns on women's issues, notwithstanding the questions asked about her appointments in her parliamentary office, had the following response when asked for a debate on issues specifically relating to men: