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A BIRD IN THE HAND? GCC AND ITS INTERIM PAYMENT
Despite asking us to keep matters confidential the councils own chief exec has written to folk claiming that “proposals” have been made for an interim payment. This is not true, at least not using my definition of a proposal (an idea for discussion). She also said that the claimant group had rejected the idea of an interim payment. That is true.
This exchange perfectly illustrates the problems we are having with officers. Confidentiality only when it suits them, completely ignoring what the claimant group say, and attempting to either impose steps on us or bounce us into accepting so called ‘proposals’ without any input from us. This is not a collaborative working relationship, it’s master and servant. There’s no frank exchange of views, listening, responding and compromising. It’s just this is what we are going to do. Just like they did with cordia holiday pay.
So why have we changed our position on an Interim payment? lots of reasons
1. Circumstances have changed. When it was first suggested they had sought leave to appeal and we thought we’d have that hanging over our heads for 2 years. If that was right it was worth discussing. Frankly, even if that was still true we wouldn’t be in agreement with what they are trying to foist on us now.
2- it’s a distraction. Whilst we argue over the IP we’re not discussing settlement. We’ve had not one single debate about any issue between us. Whilst this is happening that won’t change.
3- the way they are approaching it. It’s literally the bare minimum that their lawyers think a tribunal would award and only for the protection period. We don’t agree with their legal analysis and even more importantly we don’t agree that’s the right approach. It only looks at the protection period and it’s completely the wrong mindset.
4 the amounts they are talking about are tiny. Less than 5% of our valuation of the claims. We can’t give details as the council wanted them to be confidential.
5 we think it will adversely affect settlement discussions by stringing them out for much longer, and secondly leading officers to believe they’ve done the bare minimum so being prepared to go back to tribunal. This is their short term, risk adverse mentality writ large. They seem incapable of looking at the big picture or thinking long term
6 it salves the conscience of the politicians- they will say they’ve delivered a promise of “getting money in womens’ hands “ and they will then take a back seat and officers regain control.
7 the process is already too slow. It will get slower.
Now if the council were to agree to a substantial payment, say X% of everyone’s claim, that might be different as then we would be talking the same language. No chance of that at this stage. We aren’t having constructive dialogue and they simply don’t want to get their heads round the value of the claims.
SO IS A BIRD IN THE HAND WORTH IT? No as it’s just chicken feed is my view.
Let’s be clear unless we make substantial progress by the end of May we will be seeking to go back to tribunal.