Council facing strike in payroll over discrimination claims

One-quarter of staff in one council section are facing losing their jobs – and all those being made redundant are BAME women

Strike call: union official Rachael Baylis (left) and payroll staff put the council on notice of their ballot

Union members in Croydon Council’s payroll department at Fisher’s Folly are being balloted over strike action in response to the authority’s management proposing a “restructure” which will see a quarter of the section’s jobs axed – but only BAME women employees face losing their jobs.

The cuts are part of the £36million “savings” passed earlier this month when every single Labour councillor abstained in a vote on the budget proposed by Conservative Mayor Jason Perry. Mayor Perry’s budget also included the 15per cent Council Tax hike.

The GMB union ballot for its members opens on Monday, March 27, and runs until April 3.

Strike action could see all staff payments – including those to the likes of £192,000 per year chief exec Katherine Kerswell and her six-figure salaried directors – badly disrupted or even stopped altogether.

GMB union officials have expressed serious concerns that not all staff have been included in the restructure proposals. Those most likely to be made redundant under the restructuring are exclusively women from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

“Staff have made a number of counter-proposals to save money and protect jobs, which have not been fully considered,” the union said today.

The GMB also said that their members have “submitted numerous grievances”, but that these have been ignored by senior management at the council.

Croydon Says No: the GMB has been a driving force in the Fund Croydon Fairly campaign

“Employees and residents should not pay for Croydon’s disastrous financial position,” GMB official Rachael Baylis said.

“The current situation at Croydon Council is not the fault of those who are now being faced with job losses and increased workload. It is down to financial mismanagement and severe cuts to local authority funding.

“GMB opposes these potentially discriminatory restructuring plans and wants to work with the council to find a solution that does not lead to yet another round of redundancies and increased workloads for remaining staff.

“Our members deserve so much better than what we are seeing – they just want to be treated fairly.

“If the council don’t get round the negotiating table with us, then we will see them on the picket line.

“The GMB calls on Mayor Jason Perry to lobby the Government to fund Croydon fairly and avoid the disastrous programme of cuts that lie ahead.”

Read more: Judge orders CEO Kerswell to face tribunal over racism claims
Read more: You can depend on Croydon Labour: they always let you down
Read more: ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ to start if 15% tax hike goes through
Read more: Here’s the Mayor and 33 Croydon Tory councillors who THREE times voted in favour of hitting you with a 15% Council Tax hike


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2 Responses to Council facing strike in payroll over discrimination claims

  1. Simple maths would see Kerswell’s salary pay for these required staff through until the hard times are over. That would be proper value for money if Kerswell was sacked through poor performance, although this Council would no doubt do a Negreedy golden handshake to swell Kerswell’s large pocket.
    It’s outrageous to pick on a group of lower-paid black and Asian women – just proves that it isn’t just the Met Police who are misogynist and racist.
    I wish them good luck in their struggle.

  2. Lewis White says:

    Does this indicate a future decision to reduce the council workforce by the same proportion–25% ? How can a council function if the footsoldiers are decimated– or in this case, not getting rid of just one in ten, but 1 in 4 of the existing group.

    maybe this is a key part of a cost-saving cunning strategy?– get rid of 25% of the payroll staff, so salary payments of the council workforce get wrongly calculated / delayed, so more people leave in disgust. Avoids redundancy payments! Genius!

    Logic worthy of a J Kafka-Negrini, I think.
    Or is JN still a consultant on the “hidden books”?

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