CROYDON IN CRISIS: Here’s the latest email to staff from Katherine Kerswell, confirming the start of the six-week consultation process and the voluntary redundancy scheme which launches on Monday, as the bankrupt council seeks to make another 130 staff jobless – just in time for Christmas
From: Internal Communications
Sent: 09 December 2020 13:26
Subject: Message from interim chief executive Katherine Kerswell
Today we are beginning a period of consultation on our savings proposals that will take us into January 2021. We want as many people as possible to feedback on the proposals that have been put forward as part of our renewal plans – plans that have been developed to protect the council’s future and secure its financial footing over the next three years.
Public consultation is now live
The consultation is an opportunity to comment on the detail that was set out in last month’s cabinet papers, which included savings for the next financial year (2021/22) and changes to the services we offer.
We want you to take part in the consultation, to share how the proposals will impact you and any ideas on what you’d do differently. For many of you that live in the borough, this is also a chance to add your perspective as a resident.
Lots of you have already given really valuable feedback as part of staff engagement which has helped to develop the plans to this point – today’s launch is the next part of the conversation.
Please take a look at the consultation, get involved and help us share it with our communities – we’ll be promoting the link on all of our communications channels in the coming days. You can read an overview and give your views here http://www.croydon.gov.uk/savingsproposals.
The public consultation will run until 24 January.
Formal consultation is now underway
This morning, I also met with our trade unions to begin the formal consultation for staff whose roles are directly affected by the savings proposals.
As part of that process our HR team will now begin to contact everyone that’s affected with a formal notification that follows on from the conversations directors had with impacted teams in November. Emails and letters are set to be sent from tomorrow, and will include information on how to access the relevant staffing proposals, outline the package of support that’s on offer and confirm next steps.
As with any consultation, all feedback will be considered before final proposals are agreed and I’d encourage everyone that’s affected to please have your say by speaking to your director, trade union rep or contacting HR via their dedicated inbox – full details of which will be included in the HR packs. The staffing consultation will run until 29 January.
Later today I will also launch the draft restructure proposals for the new management arrangements for the whole council. My enormous thanks to everyone so far who has sent in ideas to Our Plan or has emailed me directly. Please do take a look at these proposals and please send in your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the specific suggestions for the new directorates there are a series of questions I would also welcome feedback on. One to one meetings will be arranged with everyone directly affected and the consultation will also last until 29 January.
Timeline – next steps
The outcomes of the consultations will be brought back to members in February cabinet and then taken to full council as part of the budget setting process in March.
Corporate voluntary severance scheme will launch on Monday
As an additional savings measure I can confirm that we will be launching a council-wide voluntary severance scheme next Monday, 14 December. The scheme will be open to everyone, but we need to be realistic about the roles that we must protect to keep statutory services running.
Applications of “interest” will be screened by directors in each department before being put forward to the corporate voluntary severance panel which I will chair. I have asked each executive director to share examples with their departments of which roles may not be approved in the next few days so we can manage expectations around this as much as possible. More information about the scheme will be published on the intranet tomorrow and included in the weekly newsletter.
The corporate voluntary severance scheme will run from 14 December – 29 January.
Visit our intranet hub
To bring as much of this information as possible into one place we are creating a dedicated intranet hub. Initial pages went live this morning, and on Monday the staffing consultation section of the hub will be published, as well as the full terms of the corporate voluntary severance scheme, so please do keep checking in and looking at what’s new.
There’s so much happening across the council at the moment and I know that this is a difficult time for everyone involved. Support will play a big part of this process, from the small ways we can all be mindful towards staff affected by the HR consultation to making sure that our more formal support channels are in place and promoted throughout.
Full details of the support that’s available will be posted on the intranet hub and as always please do take the time to check-in with each other when you can.
Thanks and stay safe
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