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Ealing and Northfield

Mahfouz: Lightweight

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz demonstrates what a lightweight he is in this tweet.

The council’s executive bonus scheme, called the Leadership Incentive Programme (LIP), and notionally worth £366K, was inherited from the old Labour administration by the new Tory administration in 2006 and largely left alone. We had work to do in our time in office and demotivating the top team wasn’t really on our agenda. We did toughen the criteria for achieving the bonus. Either Mahfouz is a liar or he doesn’t know his facts. I am not sure which is the worst sin. At least if he is a liar you would credit him with some animal cunning.

Labour are pleased with themselves for eliminating the scheme in the last budget round. £366K in £85 million does not amount to much. The real strategic challenge for the Labour administration is to change its terms of trade with its own labour force – this is worth up to £30 million, see here. I described how out of step the council’s Ts & Cs are with the those enjoyed by the private sector. Councils such as Southampton and Shropshire have gone to the wire to renegotiate Ts and Cs with their workforces. We have heard nothing from Labour in Ealing.

A real player, which Mahfouz ain’t, would have kept the LIP and a decent cut in councillors’ allowances as chips in the negotiation with the unions on significantly changing Ts and Cs. Labour are constrained by their own backbenchers who will not tolerate a cut in allowances and their close ties to the local government unions.

Children. Unfortunately the children are in charge so we will lose services whilst council staff (wo)manfully work their 35 hour weeks.

3 replies on “Mahfouz: Lightweight”

Phil

love your breathtaking one-sidedness in how you regard relations with the top level of staff at ealing compared to everyone else.

How dare you speak of leaving the LIP alone for fear of ‘demotivating the top team’ and in the same breath advocate cutting terms and conditions for council staff ie everyone below the top team.

Sounds like you have been to the Marie Antoinette ‘let them eat cake’ school of management.

Mark,

The council’s pay bill has got beyond its means. There are two approaches to dealing with it – reduce the number of people and services or protect services to a greater extent and reduce rewards especially those aspects that are out of kilter with the market. 35 hour work weeks in particular are extremely expensive.

It was appropriate to look at everyone’s rewards: councillors, senior team and all employees. It should have been done as a package.

Timing is everything. The LIP was easy to take away this year. It would have been much harder a couple of years before. Similarly a conversation about Ts and Cs with staff would have been hard two years ago. Much more straightforward now. It should have been a bundle.

Be all that as it may, you still seem far less concerned about the effect on motivation of staff by driving a coach and horses through their terms and conditions (or ‘renegotiating’ as you so euphemistically put it) than you did a couple of years ago with management.

QED-one sided.

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