By Charlotte Webster-
The GMB trades union is balloting its members within the department for strike action, following an unsatisfactory plan that lacks and equality impact assessment.
The GMB IS a trade union that represents all workers with over 500,000 members who work in every type of job imaginable across public services and in private companies too
Croydon Council managers have been slammed for presiding over a incompetent restructuring of its housing and homelessness team, where at least 26 jobs are to be axed. Not for the first time, the council is said to have failed to conduct an adequate equalities impact assessment, as is required by law, and also of losing minutes of meetings with staff representatives.
The GMB trades union is balloting its members within the department for strike action.
The dispute centres around a departmental restructure which the union says will see the cash-strapped council lose income-generating services as well as affecting the provision of services to council tenants.
The union has accused the council leadership, including Mayor Jason Perry and chief executive Katherine Kerswell, of ignoring a collective grievance signed by 80 staff and submitted in April.
The GMB has accused the hopeless council of losing important minutes, and ignoring formal questions put to human resources and heads of service.
The strike ballot is due to end tomorrow, June 1. If the union members support strike action, it could take place later in June.
“Croydon Council are totally failing our members and all service users in this botched restructure,” according to the GMB’s Rachael Baylis.
“The proposals are an absolute dog’s dinner, with little thought to the practical application. The GMB has major concerns about the equalities impacts of these proposals which have been completely ignored.
“Short-term savings will cost the council in the long run and only further damage the services.
“Our members know their jobs better than any of the management who drew this up and it is to the council’s detriment that they do not listen.
“The council has been going through a series of restructures in their attempts to balance the books.
“But it was not our members who bankrupted the council and they should not be the ones paying for it with their jobs, their workloads and their health.
“Croydon has failed to meet their legal requirements to consult throughout this process and it has left our members feeling that they have no option but to take strike action.”
A council spokesperson, echoing the scripted lines of Perry, the borough’s £82,000 per year Tory Mayor, said the borough needs to become “smaller, more efficient and offer residents better value for money”.
The council claims that the housing restructure has been “open to a full, considered staff consultation process”.
A council spokesperson described the union’s decision to ballot staff over possible industrial action as “disappointing”.
The housing sector plays a critical role in shaping the lives of individuals and communities. When housing cuts are implemented, careful planning and consultation are vital to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of resources and minimize negative impacts. However, in the case of Croydon Council, a botched consultation over housing cuts has raised serious concerns about the implications for jobs, as well as the lack of an equal opportunity impact assessment. Moreover, the council leadership’s decision to ignore complaints and grievances signed by 80% of staff has further deepened the issue.
Implications for Jobs
A botched consultation over housing cuts can have far-reaching implications for jobs within the Croydon Council and the local community. When significant reductions are made to the housing sector, it often leads to downsizing, redundancies, or outsourcing, which can result in a loss of jobs and financial instability for affected individuals. However, without a properly conducted consultation process, the decision-making surrounding these cuts may lack transparency and fail to consider alternatives or minimize the negative impact on employment.
One of the key implications is the potential loss of jobs among council employees directly involved in housing services. These individuals have acquired valuable expertise and experience, contributing to the effective delivery of services to residents. If cuts are not implemented with caution and fairness, it can lead to the departure of experienced staff, thereby compromising the quality and efficiency of housing-related operations.
Housing cuts can also have a cascading effect on the wider economy. Local businesses that rely on the council’s housing contracts or serve the housing sector may experience a decline in demand, potentially leading to job losses in related industries. This, in turn, can negatively affect the overall economic well-being of the local community, as individuals face unemployment and reduced spending power.
Lack of Equal Opportunity Impact Assessment
An equal opportunity impact assessment is a crucial tool for identifying and addressing potential inequalities resulting from policy changes or decisions. By conducting such an assessment, organizations can better understand the differential effects on various groups within the community and take proactive measures to mitigate any negative impacts.
The failure of Croydon Council, the failure to conduct an equal opportunity impact assessment in the housing cuts consultation process raises concerns about the potential perpetuation of inequalities and the violation of equal opportunity principles.
Without an equal opportunity impact assessment, there is a risk that certain groups may disproportionately bear the brunt of the housing cuts. For instance, if the consultation process overlooks the specific needs and vulnerabilities of marginalized communities, it can perpetuate existing inequalities and exacerbate social disparities. This not only undermines the principles of fairness and social justice but also hinders efforts to create an inclusive society.
An insider from Croydon Council anonymously told The Eye Of Media.Com: ‘ Croydon Council is being its typical incompetent and unprofessional council by failing to conduct a basic assessment one would expect of any responsible council.
”An equal opportunity impact assessment can help identify any potential indirect discrimination resulting from housing cuts. Indirect discrimination occurs when seemingly neutral policies or decisions disproportionately affect certain groups due to pre-existing societal disadvantages.
”An efficient analyses of the potential effects of housing cuts on different demographic groups, can help the council proactively address any unintended discriminatory consequences and work towards a fairer outcome.
”This council has continued to be unaccountable with impunity for too long. When thre irresponsible fat cats have earned the hot jackpot they are here to earn, they usually resign and take with them the kind of huge money one could give an individual or organisation being compensated for wrongdoing. That’s how bad this council is’.
”The decision of the council leadership to ignore complaints and grievances signed by 80% of staff reflects a worrying disregard for the concerns and well-being of the workforce. The staff, who are directly impacted by the housing cuts, play a crucial role in delivering services and are likely to have valuable insights into the potential consequences of the proposed changes. By dismissing their complaints, the council leadership..