Temporary Staff Costs at Folkestone & Hythe District Council have broken the million pound barrier for the first time ever. In the financial year 2017/18 they reached, £1,043,789. That is a increase of 26% on last years temporary staff costs. This the second record FHDC have broken in 17/18.
Once is a mistake, twice is a pattern, three times is a habit.
This comes at a time when FHDC are seeking to drive significant efficiency savings across all areas of services they provide. As they have said, they have an anticipated £6.5 million deficit by 2020/21, if they do nothing. Job losses, downsizing, “transformation”, call it what you will, makes any employee rightfully nervous about their job at the Council.
Just recently the Ways of Working (WoW) “transformation” policy has ended. But before the troops have been given time for some well earned R&R they are straight into another one – Transforming Shepway (now FHDC). As a member of FHDC staff comments in Report P17-11:
“people now are just worried about keeping any job because we finish one transformation project, WOW and go straight into another. Why would anyone want to commit to staying at SDC when they have the constant threat of restructure and change over their head.”
Now of course, one voice doesn’t mean much, but the minority as well as the majority have a right to be heard and listened to; and we’re listening.
It is inevitable that staff over time will be replaced by algorithms and machinery, as we said back in Dec 2017. We truly feel for the officers who seemingly sit under the sword of Damocles – a catch all term to describe a looming danger. This cannot be good for their wellbeing. There can be no happiness for anyone who lives under the constant apprehension of losing their job.
Working for Folkestone & Hythe District Council can be stressful, alienating and very pressurised as managers and Cabinet members seek all staff to put in place the local Conservative policy of austerity and shrinking the Council, our Council. Part of this is inevitable top-down bullshit of any workplace.
We know enough Council officers in enough departments to know that decisions get passed down from managers that just seem stupid, ill thought through or arbitrary. That’s not to say there’s not excellent staff in the different Council departments. We do recognise that staff under Heads of Service are cogs that form the wheels that gets the job done. You do make a difference. Thank you.
And for those who are working at FHDC “temporarily”, do remember –
“the number of working homeless households in (Folkestone & Hythe District) looks set to grow.”
according to report C17/58. So ask yourself this. How safe is your home? How safe are your family? Even if you get up from wherever you might sleep, to go to work, your wages will not be sufficient to cover the rent or mortgage and its only likely to get worse. This is a now a reality for a significant growing number in our district. This is Tory policy in action, in our district. It is repugnant.
So who are those who have Political and Corporate Responsibility for the increased Temporary staff costs? Well they’d be the usual suspects.
firstname.lastname@example.org – Leader of FHDC
email@example.com – Cabinet Member for Finance
firstname.lastname@example.org – Cabinet Member for the District Economy
email@example.com Head of Paid Services at FHDC
firstname.lastname@example.org – s151 Officer (in charge of the money)
email@example.com – Head of HR at FHDC
Please, if you can send an email expressing your disdain, be polite.
Finally, how many of the Temporary staff have been at FHDC more than 3 months, more than six months, more than a year? That’s impossible to say as the data does not inform us. But an FoI might do the trick 😉
The Shepwayvox Team