WIRRAL Council has been named Scrooge Employer of the Year, an unwanted accolade it shares for 2008 with National Museums Liverpool.
As Christmas approached, Merseyside TUC appealed for nominations for its award, which recognises the organisations where moral is lowest and where staff feel their efforts go unappreciated.
In total, nominations for 16 different employers were received. Of those, Wirral Council and National Museums Liverpool each registered 38 votes each, making them clear joint winners.
The complaints, from staff and ex-staff, ranged from bullying to poor wages and bad communication between departments, plus anger at the gap between salaries of directors and general staff being over £50,000.
Staff also felt vulnerable workers, such as pregnant women, older and disabled employees and young workers with young families were disciplined for needing time off work while bosses, without any understanding or interest in the opinions of staff, cut services without prior consultation.
With regard to Wirral Council, president of Merseyside TUC Alec McFadden told the News
: “Staff say they haven’t been consulted about the problems, in terms of job losses, and were absolutely shocked when they found out. They were discouraged from getting involved and they were discouraged from going to meetings. You can be an employee of Wirral Council but at the same time pay your council tax. Therefore you still have the right to express your opinion, and that seems to be what the council is trying to prevent from happening.”
Paul Bradshaw, Wirral Council’s head of human resources, said: “Wirral Council works closely with trade unions and staff to continually improve conditions of work for all of its employees. We have comprehensive policies in place to deal with many of the areas mentioned by the TUC. The council is going through a time of change which always presents challenges. We are, however, doing everything we can to support our staff through this period.”
Alec McFadden added: “Two very special Scrooge of the Year certificates are being produced and will be sent to the chief executive of Wirral Council and the director of National Museums Liverpool.”