UNISON summary of devastating proposed changes to business admin support

axeOur brief description of the massive job cuts – of more than a third – planned to business admin, which includes support for frontline services, complaints, data protection/freedom of information request work and support for directors. Management also intend to force all staff to interview for their own jobs.

  • Management proposes to reduce the current nearly 240 posts down to 171.5: a reduction of 66.8, however 29 posts are occupied by agency workers, and a further 10 vacant. But this does leave a minimum of nearly 30 full-time equivalent posts being made redundant, with many more job losses possible if people are unsuccessful at interview.
  • This reduction, of around 28%, will mean the remaining workers will have hugely increased workloads, and some of this additional workload will almost certainly have to be borne by frontline workers.
  • Despite this, the most senior levels of management are almost unscathed. None of the most senior managers face redundancy.
  • On top of this, management even plan to create a new highly paid senior manager post, which no internal candidates are job matched to so they plan to recruit to it externally at a later date.
  • UNISON reps involved in the restructure are John Shepherd, supported by Vinothan Sangarapillai, Aysha Ali and George Binette (all on Outlook).
  • Management originally claimed they wanted to just save £1.75 million (as clearly evidenced by the essentials business admin review homepage, which states “The aims of the review are… To create efficiencies as identified in the accommodation strategy (£1.75 million)”). However they now claim this was a minimum target. And that their current proposals will save £2.1 million. However, calculations by UNISON estimate that they will save around £2.6 million in salaries alone.
  • Management only produced an Equality Impact Assessment two weeks after the restructure began, which clearly showed that the posts being cut are disproportionately occupied by women and staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.
  • Apart from the most generic scale 4 (level 1 zone 3) and scale 6 (level 2 zone 2) admin posts (of which there will be 110 total in the new structure), all the other posts are job matched to ringfence alternative posts. This means that management believes they are substantially different jobs, so there will need to be a selection process (even if the number of posts is bigger than the number of people) and staff will be appointed on the new contracts.
  • Many workers are facing downgrading. Particularly the lowest paid, whom we believe are mostly on scale 4, face being downgraded to the equivalent of scale 3.
  • There is a significant rationalisation in posts, with far fewer different grades and job profiles compared to now. In particular, in the main admin service any career progression seems to have been completely gutted as all grades between scale 6 (level 2 zone 2) and PO3 (level 4 zone 1) have been removed. With mid-level staff facing demotion or redundancy.
  • The new service will sit under Finance for the time being.
  • We have held meetings with many members and teams, and have put together a formal response to the consultation arguing for no compulsory redundancies.
  • Feel free to send any questions, comments and concerns which you would like the union to raise or feed back to John Shepherd by e-mail.
  • We have successfully stopped external recruitment for a level 1 zone 3 (old scale 4) admin post out of scope of the review, so it can be available for redeployment for a member at risk of redundancy.
  • See http://camdenunison.org.uk/tag/admin for more information on an ongoing basis.
  • Please feel free to pass this information to colleagues, and encourage in-scope colleagues to join UNISON, as the more of us there the better the outcome we are likely to be able to get for all of us. For example see this account of a recent Camden restructure where compulsory redundancies and pay cuts of nearly £5000 per year were avoided by UNISON members sticking together.


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