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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Yes - I'll Cross The Picket Lines!

I was really pleased the other day to hear the exciting new proposals for slimming down Hackney's overstaffed and bureaucratic children's services. Two reasons - firstly because the proposals were put forward by my nice-but-boring neighbour and colleague Rita (she of "Rita & Vinnie" fame), and it's about time she did something more useful than darning socks for Councillor Stops and launching campaigns to improve children's reading in the Borough (we all know where that can lead).

Rita Krishna enjoying herself on the roadThe second reason for my support is that Rita's proposals for new, smaller children's units would mean an end to social work teams and give social workers the authority to make decisions on cases without referring them to team managers. With all this nonsense about Mark Trotter, we need to demonstrate that our social workers can be trusted to make decisions on their own, without reference to layers of bureaucracy. Well, admittedly not exactly our social workers, as under Comrade Krishna's proposals our existing social workers will all have their contracts terminated and be invited to re-apply for their positions. That'll shake up the complacent little toads.

Just for good measure, Rita is finally putting an end to the old-fashioned, nationalistic process whereby the people recruited into children's services are typical of the local community (i.e. of white British, African Caribbean, West African, Irish, Vietnamese, Turkish, Somali or other background to be widely found in Hackney).

The proposed interviewing of Greek, Australian, Burmese, Kazakhstani and Martian candidates will introduce a wealth of experience not previously seen in Social Services. I'm sure our children in care can only benefit from that. If they concentrate and work hard, they'll be able to learn some new languages that may prove useful later in life.

A Hackney child enjoying herself on the roadYes, there will be some layoffs, although we'll try to avoid compulsory redundancies by constructively dismissing the staff we don't want. And those who are fortunate to be appointed to the new senior positions will benefit from the new income scale ranging from £50,000 p.a. for a trainee children's social worker to £1,545,000 p.a. for Head of Department. To pay for this, we will be introducing classes in begging skills for those kids on ASBOs and sending the brightest and most talented ones out to perform freelance painting and decorating contracts for Hackney Homes. So in light of all these great reform ideas, I cannot begin to understand the attitude of Hackney Council Unison in proposing strike action. Personally I think it's just a spiteful attack on a sensible and moderate Labour Council by a bunch of closet Trotskyists and CPGB-ML trade unionists who had their power and influence taken away at last week's Labour Party Conference.

It may not be my own beloved union Amicus that's taking industrial action, but I won't stand by and see the loony left destroy it. I'll cross the picket lines with pride. Actually, I don't think I'll be in that part of the world for a few weeks, so it will probably all blow over before I have to face any such decisions. Any case, it's getting colder and brighter now and I may need to wear my balaclava and Ray Bans.

1 comment:

E Strebe-Griebling said...

Damned right, old boy. You can't have your own trade union telling you what to do, now, can you? Nor those little people who are in the union because they do manual work, rather than intellectuals and professionals like you who want to show off their credentials in the party.