More wrong priorities at Lambeth Council in the latest restructure.
The latest Lambeth Council restructure in the Neighbourhoods and Growth directorate, involving over 1,000 employees, has seen a cut of nearly 7% to frontline staff on the lowest grades of Scale 2 to SO2.
Shockingly though in the same restructure there is a 12% increase on posts with a wage of £50,000 or above.
UNISON has asked how yet another restructure has produced such a top heavy structure. Staff in Lambeth Council have been by nearly 50% since austerity started in 2008 so with depleted services front line staff are needed more than ever. Why, once again, is it those on lower scales that suffer the most?
At a recent meeting with the unions, UNISON activists asked management directly if they had a comment on the top heavy restructure and the massive increase in highly paid managers and were met with complete silence.
This also has further implications as the Council has admitted there is a problem with institutional racism, as staff at the top of the scales are overwhelming white, despite the workforce as a whole being 59% black and minority ethnic (BME). The latest figures that UNISON have seen is that all but one of the top 25 senior managers are white. Once you get to grades with wages of £40,000 and above, posts become more and more disproportionately filled by white staff.
Human Resources have also admitted that while 46% of job applications are from people from a BME background, only 36% of people appointed are BME. On the other hand while 25% of applications are from white people, 34% of people appointed are white.
This very significant statistical difference between the recruitment of white and BME staff, the fact that white staff become more and more disproportionately represented the higher you go up the management scale, and the fact that the latest restructure will be cutting lower paid posts while increasing higher paid posts shows two things. Firstly the extent of the issue of institutional racism with Lambeth Council, and secondly that even in a time of austerity restructures continue to benefit higher paid managers at the expense of lower paid staff.
UNISON and residents of the borough demand answers and action be taken. Unison wants immediate action on the race equality agenda.