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Raising questions over low morale among council staff
4:12pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Letters
AT Wiltshire Council recently there has been much mention of low staff morale. I have picked this up from informal chats with “ordinary” staff, their families and friends in my electoral division.
The trade union, Unison, has also issued a letter to all Wiltshire councillors, making a point about the massive salary increases for senior staff, when ordinary staff had their increases limited by law to one per cent. In fact, some middle ranking staff are getting absolutely no increase.
As is my constitutional right, I took the matter of perceived low morale to Wiltshire Council’s scrutiny management committee last Monday. My objective was to get away from all anecdotes and ask for an independent survey to objectively establish the situation.
It was a somewhat strange meeting; officers and most councillors felt that my request for an independent survey was in some way an attack on the council’s human resources service. This was not my intention.
The Conservative-dominated committee decided that there was sufficient in-house data to reject my call for independent data.
However, under closer questioning it became apparent that much of this in-house data was getting on for 12 months old. That is well before the latest redundancies and the massive senior staff salary hikes. Nonetheless my request was still rejected. However, I consider that it is unlikely that the low morale issue will simply go away.
JEFF OSBORN, Independent Wiltshire Councillor
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