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Aug 12 2016

Harrow Unison: Cllr Sachin Shah – “a leader with no direction or leadership presence”

harrow_council_broken_22Harrow Unison, the union for council workers, is outraged at the slashing of Early Intervention Service funding, as reported by iharrow previously, especially coming so fast on the heels of a 14% pay rise for a Head of Service and a £6k pay hike for a DASS Officer.

Not stopping to mince words, it’s clear there’s no love lost for Council leader Cllr Sachin Shah, who has led the council for just a few months. Rumours are abound that the honeymoon period for Cllr Shah is now well and truly over.

Here’s Unison’s letter to it’s members in full:

Dear Members

Harrow Unison LG writes to you all regarding the recent unacceptable behaviour of the London Borough of Harrow (Council) it is now evident that we are not all in it together. The simple fact that the Senior Officers keep belly aching about the need to save money is no more than a farcical situation.

The Senior Officers those at the high end of the pay structure keep dipping into the cookie jar whilst they desire to enact pay reductions downgrading and redundancies to the council’s workforce. The latest debacle is the 14% wage increase for a Head of Service and a £6,000 pay hike for a DASS officer, yet in contrast they desire to enact a downgrading on the EIS team and making the Kenmore NRC team potential redundant, to pay for their luxury lifestyle which is ever increasing.

The latest figure from the Income Data Service identify bosses salaries have surged by 21% last year despite workers’ salaries struggling to outstrip the country’s 1.5 per cent rate of inflation. Any attempt to downgrade staff will be met with stiff opposition, and has all the known characteristics to enact formal action, which is a last resort. However the actions of the leader of Harrow Council to agree this wage hike identify a leader with no direction or leadership presence. Maybe he is quite comfortable having his photo taken around the services of the council without realising what the working class actually do?

It appears our Labour Group Leader is more interested in enlarging the pay differential and enjoys watching workers being downgraded yet conducting the same role for less money. Unison is absolutely disgusted, by the rhetoric, of the constant statements “How can we save money” when staffs are met by these individuals. Well Unison has the answer Mr Shah, stop favouring the pay increases at a senior level; believe it or not you were elected as a Labour Councillor not for the Conservative group.

We also ask what has happened since you took office, pay increases for senior staff, no responses to the Trade Unions (letters) and supporting senior bullies, where do you actually believe the Labour Party derived from Mr Shah, you’ve got it, yes the Trade Union Movement, those that fought and continue to fight for the working class, yes it appears you’ve got it wrong again by your actions!

Let’s return to a Labour Group and Leadership that listened to the People “Remember the Bridge” Mr Shah, oh sorry that was the previous leader.

Yours sincerely
Harrow Unison LG, Branch Executive Committee

Interesting time. Thanks to anon for the tip. You know who you are.

 

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25 comments

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  1. Susan Hall

    Unison would do well to remember that it was the Conservatives that sought to reduce the cost of the top management, despite the fact that we were criticised for that. It was also the Conservatives that voted against the latest pay awards. The three Labour members voted for the pay awards. The Leader Cllr Sachin Shah, Deputy Leader Keith Ferry and Cabinet member Simon Brown. During the COEP meeting Simon Brown did not say a word other than to agree the pay rise. Councillor Ferry tried to bring a motion to go straight to the vote after a short period of time and then the Leader Sachin Shah stopped our questions and went for the vote. One day Unison may realise that you do not have to be a Labour supporter to want to look after the ‘working class’ Everyone in our view should be treated fairly. I do hope that the member of staff that has brought this to our attention does phone me because unlike Labour I will listen!

  2. Someonewhocares

    Under the circumstances very fair words from Harrow Unison: Generally the ‘fat cats’ don’t get it when they get pay rises and the workers get reduction/redundancies, though – that is a ‘central tenet of capitalism’ of course (See BHS for details). As stupid and insensitive as it is a£10K rise to someone who is paid £100K is nothing compared to 30+ employees losing their jobs, obviously.

    However again much of this situation is due to the *Central Government* (for that read Conservative) cuts to many Councils. What have you done about that SH, did you lobby Eric Pickles/DCLG for instance for a better deal for us? T

    -The Harrow administration possibly think that they are without blame, it is ‘because of the cuts imposed on them, but inept administrations always go for the easy options, easy for *them” that is. We did not see anyone (Labour or Conservative) in the Council preempting these looming Central cuts and doing anything whatsoever about them. Maybe they were all just too busy arguing with each other (about personalities and other petty stuff) to notice the *really important* issues on the horizon?

    1. Susan Hall

      Yes both my deputy Barry and I did lobby Eric Pickles. Both Labour and the Conservatives knew cuts would be coming as did our Officers that’s why administrations have budet rounds to see where money can be better spent/saved. The arguments are often about where the money should and should not go. As an example we Conservatives argued constantly against the £75 bin charge, originally pensioners were to be exempt, then that was changed then the year was possible to break down to half a year – chaos has reigned as we said it would but Labour would not listen. You cannot constantly blame the Government, Councils have to work within a budget and make sensible decisions. At the moment it looks like this is all going very wrong…..ask the Unions!

      1. Someonewhocares

        Good to know you *did* Lobby Pickles, pity he was not listening to many Councils though:
        The Government/DCLG goal then was to make £20bn ‘savings’ (aka *cuts* in Services),
        as indicated via this old link (and YES I *do* blame the Government for making these cuts):

        http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/12/finance-settlement-imposes-average-3-cut-english-councils

        I don’t disagree that the ‘Brown Bin issue’ was a total mess but with respect it is ‘as nothing’ compared to making cuts of 10%+ on funding from Government/DCLG coffers. I would hazard a guess that part of you is relieved that you did not have to preside over these centrally-imposed caps and increasing cuts after all. (And it is not just Harrow being forced to make these cuts in essential services of course, and it is ‘all going wrong’ for those Councils too).

        Yes, whilst it is probably possible to ‘absorb’ a 3% cut in funding with ‘sensible budgeting’ once we get into double-figures cuts then ‘somethings got to give – and it is happening right now, as we know, and it was inevitable.

  3. susan hall

    I am not happy in any way that we are not presiding over the control of the Council. I can say without doubt that we would have brought something different and decisive to the role. Cllr Shah are making no decisions and are in chaos. This is neither good for the Administratiion or the residents

    1. Someonewhocares

      Clearly, as far as the LGA is concerned it was (and is) Central Government who are primarily to blame for the cuts (and the associated austerity):

      http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/5854661/Under+pressure.pdf

      – and. although this report is from 2014, the effects are obviously on-going.

      According I repeat the question: What would you have done differently faced with all this?

      1. Susan Hall

        We would have done many things differently. Since we are not in charge I would suggest that you will find a sample of things when we release our manifesto. One thing is for sure, we would have kept the Borough cleaner, we would not have entered into the nonsense regarding the brown bins and we would have frozen Council Tax. We have previous form on this because when we took over in 2013 in the hung administration we immediately asked officers to work on the budget in order to freeze Council tax and money was put into cleaning up the borough. How would we pay for this – by reducing the amount of “consultants” which cost our Borough a fortune and other schemes we are working on. Attention to detail is essential and complete control of the finances vital – something that seems to be lost on the Labour administration!

  4. Someonewhocares

    The main problem though is that you have not actually stated exactly *what* you would do differently faced with these same swingeing Central Government cuts. Again if ‘somethings got to give’ then any associated decision is going to men a reduction of Services *somewhere*. The size of these cuts being imposed is huge; Multi-millions per year for the next 4 years. The EIS was just effectively halved, so what precisely would *you* have done instead of this?

    1. red mirror

      well for a start there’s a load adipose useless fat to be pared off from front line services 26 grand a year for driving round in a smart car to make sure joe blogs isnt hiding down an alleyway with his barrow then going for a two hour break with middle management in the cake shop is hardly competitive in the REAL WORLD i would suggest let the axe fall where it may harrow council is as i discovered over staffed incestuous and in need to be blunt of a good kick up the arse sorry but facts are facts.

      1. Council Employee

        Embittered and irrational words. It’s not front line EIS / YDT / Children’s Services staff that are draining the coffers of Harrow Council. It was the nepotism of some managers and senior managers who have doled out pay rises to certain favoured members of staff without having their job descriptions / roles passed through HR. It is incredible to think it but a simple email allowed some people to jump a pay grade or two for no reason and it was never questioned. A select few were given pay rises as favours. And I’m not talking about Michael Lockwood and his cronies, I’m talking about people much further down the pecking order but in management roles.For the vast majority there haven’t been any pay rises at all for about 5 years. Most people have taken over the work of colleagues who have left under the guise of ‘more for less’ or in other words sacking people and getting staff who are already under immense (and dangerous) pressure to pick up the load. People have been too scared for years to complain as they know their services will no longer be required in the blink of an eye; so they carry on and keep their mouths shut. For years staff have been there one day and gone the next in Children’s Services. Essential services from EIS have been whittled to the bone. For those who don’t know what EIS staff do, they pick up where Social Workers from Children In Need, Leaving Care, Foster Care and Looked After Children etc leave off, when they run out of time working with desperately fragile and vulnerable families and their managers tell them to close. EIS staff support schools, children at risk of sexual exploitation, children being bullied, children with mental health issues and the list goes on and on. For every £1 spent in EIS £5 is saved in Adult Services. Once half the EIS/YDT staff have gone you’ll see a steep decline in the provision given to families who just can’t cope, people who are not forced to work with EIS or YDT but those who are actually asking for help. EIS is a non-statutory service there to help people who want it. Schools will have nowhere to turn to when they have a child needing extra support to get them through what may be a hellish period for them. CIN, Looked After Children, Leaving Care etc will all struggle to support their young people. All of these services need each other to do their jobs. This new policy of one worker one family is a recipe for disaster and when disaster hits Children’s Services it is usually in the death of a child. Ponder that for a while.

        1. red mirror

          council employee here’s a suggestion stop paying illegal and unlawful council tax and encourage others to do the same starve the beast that is causing you so much mental anguish that’s the only real moral ethical path to take otherwise YOU are funding the very thing that you claim to be against it takes courage yes but i have and am doing it because i wont support EVIL will you do the same ?please point out the illogic in my stance or the irrationality i wonder how we stack up morally ?

          1. Council Employee

            Stopping paying Council Tax will have little affect as the majority of the Council’s money comes from Central Government. You can cut off your nose to spite your face if you wish but I know for me it would only end in me losing my job as not owing money to the Council is a condition of my employment. I would then lose my ability to provide for those I love and care about. Not the wisest choice red mirror. I would also lose the ability to help the young people and families in Harrow, which for me is more than just a job. If I only wanted a job I’d go for the easiest option and work a job I hated just for the money. That’s not me. The Council can be mercenary in the way they treat staff and I’m sure you have your reasons to be bitter. I can only hope you had a union member who backed you up when you needed help.

      2. Someonewhocares

        In fact ‘red mirror’ my comment/question was directed at Susan H. not you; And you really are too bitter, )and repetitive) whatever ‘they’ did to you. And heed the words of CE, if a child’s life is lost, who caused this? It is rather disturbing to see that whilst the *employees* in such Services are (no doubt) caring and concerned souls but yet their *employer* seems not to care about them at all. And Council Officers projecting a caring profile whilst actually behaving like this is disgustingly hypocritical and unacceptable to Residents too obviously.

        CE: Your comments are very insightful, and clearly the REAL ‘face of the Council”. Please encourage others to ‘open up’ on such ‘behind the scenes’ behaviour too. We have a right to know.

        1. red mirror

          bitter?no concerned yes the problems that we have in society concern us all it is very easy to stand on a soap box and take moral high grounds especially for the layperson!!! AND THEN GO HOME shut the door and be entertained by the gogglebox all thoughts of suffering and deprivation long gone .there are a lot of people doing real on the ground hands on work with unfortunate folk in the community free we can all do this i do myself YES REPETITIVELY wrongdoing is wrongdoing yes?whether it is now or 50 years ago i see yourself make similar rants often so please dont throw stones from your glass house i will leave you both with this BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.reach out help connect then watch what happens.

          1. Someonewhocares

            You have no idea who I am or what i do to help Society and so don’t presume to either: Unfortunately it is *you* who is using this blog as a soapbox, to complain/rant (mainly about what the Council have done to YOU personally), If you really are concerned then try to make more positive statements, for everyone’s sake.

  5. red mirror

    someonewhocares do you mean change reality so that it does not offend or annoy you ? sorry reality sucks quite often but putting rose colored specs on will not change anything the truth is everyone’s ally whether you realize it or not the degree to which you are disconnected from truth is proportionate to your suffering ponder this please it is of great significance and will help you grow.

  6. Harrow Dude

    I remember Sachin saying “we are raising your council tax to maintain the services we provide for the most vulnerable in our community” well that was a lie. Day Services about to be hived off to god knows who, Children Services about to be decimated, numerous staff to lose their job. Despite this Sachin “say it ain’t so” Shah sees it fit to give Cultura London £1million of tax payers money and guarantee the pension costs for Cultura who are allegedly a charitable trust that happens to be headed up by an ex council employee and has a Labour Councillor on the Board.

    I wouldn’t rely on him to take a pee in the morning let alone run the London Borough of Harrow. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong Sachin…go on say it ain’t so, I dare you, I double dare you….

    1. Jeremy Zeid

      You have summed up Polly Parrot Sachin its-the-cuts Shah to a tee. Promoted way beyond the level of his competence. Worryingly he is one of the least incompetents ingesting the woodworm ridden “cabinet”.

  7. Someonewhocares

    Red Mirror: Your suggestion that employees simply stop paying Council Tax was very useful..
    Yes, ‘that ought to do it’; Why did no-one else have such a brilliant idea?

    However as I (and probably WE) have some difficulties in working out just what you are trying to say – as it is so convoluted (and incorrect) – I will simply give up! In fact I am now even more convinced that you don’t exactly know what you are trying to say either.

    Now, some (actual) advice for you: Did you even realise that this thread was actually about the reality of *leadership and cuts* ? Any chance you might actually stay ON TOPIC or is that just too difficult for you? Just ‘going off’ on some random tangents may make you feel better but it is not constructive and relevant enough to be taken even remotely seriously. Don’t bother replying, as I won’t waste any more time with your bizarrely-elitist gibberish meanderings either!

    1. red mirror

      sarcasm the lowest form of wit i seem to have hit a nerve elitist gibberish ?i merely extended a remedy i myself find youre quoting never ending statistics the validity of which i would trust as much as a chocolate tea pot you moan but its always about derivative points and issues i tried to explain to you a way to effect change which you are either sincere about or just using to gripe in general DONT FRET I WONT TRY ANYMORE casting pearls to swine really is a waste of time.

      1. Jeremy Zeid

        I think that you need a new keyboard as most of the punctuation keys are stuck and the shift key intermittent. Oh yes, sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but Socialism is the lowest form of fraud.

        You need to look in the red mirror and see the reflection that hasn’t worked anywhere at any time and always runs out of other people’s money used to bribe the gullible, the lazy, the jealous and the selfish “entitled”.

        1. red mirror

          i have stated before that i am a political atheist the problem that you have is in thinking naively that somehow you can make a change .Sadly you cannot accept that democracy by definition is mob rule might i suggest that you yourself try looking in the mirror and see yourself probably for the first time in your life as an individual not following the left the right the middle but an individual not looking to authority figures political masters or a big daddy father figure to make it all ok NO just you making a life for yourself your way that takes balls and honesty i cant supply you with either as i am using mine to the max living MY LIFE MY WAY dont be afraid jz just be a man.

  8. Someonewhocares

    ‘OINK’ ! Many of your cast ‘pearls of wisdom’ seem often just nearer to random ‘nuggets of nonsense’ unfortunately, Red Mirror – they really are hard to comprehend. Maybe you *are* genuinely trying to proffer good advice but if so then please Just take you time, explain better and *stay on Topic*?!

  9. Jeremy Zeid

    Stop blaming “the cuts”.

    The biggest problem is an utterly useless and inept Labour Cuncil of which there isn’t a single competent member.

    The new “leader” as he calls himself and pays himself, CllrSachin Shah is utterly unqualified or able to lead a dog on a rope, let alone a council. The cabinet is packed with cronies who lack the mental and moral fibre to run a council, instead indulging in petty squabbles and ya-boo-sucks politicking like a bunch of babies.

    Not one has the notion that they are there to represent the electorate and instead is more interested in power, penalties and control, as exemplified by the bunch of paramilitary style THUGS dressed up as “enforcement officers” to keep us plebs under control.

    The money wasted on consultants, inspectors and time spent trying to pursue people who put their bins out on the wrong day. Let’s not forget the massive rise in fly tipping and the concomitant costs, nor the aborting and ludicrous slop buckets and stopping the collection of garden waste that has cost more than leaving well alone.

    But Polly Parrot Sachin “its-the- cuts” Shah will carry on squawking and blaming everyone else. His mentor the unlamented ex-,Cllr Shah coached him well in the art of being utterly inept while blaming others.

    Still, that’s democracy and we got what we deserved. It s a bad day when I can state that Harrow is more incompetent and useless than Brent.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Ah – another “WOTTM” = Way Off The Topic Merchant, and, according to this (again), you are simply talking through yours:

      http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/5854661/Under+pressure.pdf

      So, how about reading through all that and then making some more (sensible) contributions?

      {Incidentally do you really believe that insulting those folks like that will somehow make your points more relevant or valid? Far too bitter, far too personal – sour grapes maybe? – Steps back and waits for another ineffectual JZ rant)

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