Working reality


While privileged senior staff at EDDC are moaning that their offices are not state of the art and therefore they simply cannot continue to work there, I wonder if they have any idea what the lives of some of their constituents are like?

I worked recently with a group of young parents about to return to the workplace now that their youngest child had reached the age of four. These were bright, positive individuals who collectively have a range of previous employment skills, common sense and are keen to return to work. All are managing tight budgets down to the last penny out of necessity. Due to the need to find work in term time only (holiday childcare is not that easy to come by and is expensive) one parent faced the prospect of putting their young children into childcare at 6am in the morning in order to take two buses to work for a 7am start. They would be working a split shift and unlikely to return home again until after 6pm, all for the minimum wage.

What a contrast in the two groups.

At EDDC, the role of the deputy chief executive (transformation and system thinking)/monitoring officer – part-time salary £69,120 – is ideal for a part-time working mum and so handy for fitting in around the school day. The ability to write a pleasant letter in neutral tone and to find a number of ways to write ‘I’ve asked him and he didn’t do it’ are, however, essential for this role.

The growing trend to axe the role of the chief executive, salary £121,000 pa makes sense to me. Perhaps too we could axe the role of the other deputy chief executive, specifically brought in to the team to push through the relocation of EDDC whatever the cost to the public purse – salary £85,248.

Are we getting value for money from the senior staff? The evidence is simply not there. Over and again senior staff have proved themselves arrogant, incompetent, completely out of touch with reality, bigoted, disrespectful and completely ‘unmonitored’. It seems to me that even if you don’t pay peanuts, sometimes you still get monkeys.

EDDC state on their own website ‘There may be opportunities in the future to make further savings through shared working or other arrangements’.

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My suggestion for further savings for EDDC is to scrap both the CE, and his deputies, scrap the shameful plans for the ‘ambitious and strategic’ relocation which is costing the public dearly. Bring in staff with common sense, integrity, the ability to add up and empathy with those in the real world. Most of all, let’s have staff who are willing to get on with the job we thought they are paid to do. I could pass on the names of those I met recently ….

Val Ranger

Via email