REMEMBER THAT PROMISE THEY MADE, WELL.....
I’m sure many of you heard Susan Aitken on the radio this morning, sadly I didn’t as I’m in London, but many of you have messaged about what she said.
One big theme is money. Many of you will remember their promise - settlement by the end of the year, payments starting January 2019. Let’s first state, this was not the claimant side’s promise. It was made unilaterally by GCC. We said immediately that it couldn’t be done the way they were handling the process.
So here goes - I TOLD YOU SO. but they wouldn’t listen. So now she’s made it public- no payment until next financial year at the earliest, that’s April 2019 or beyond.
Why? Because the council won’t ask SNP government for the money because Nicola Sturgeon will say No, and they don’t want to embarrass Nicola. It seems that’s more important than doing the right thing.
I’ve said from the beginning, this is too big for GCC alone. It needs national government support.
So now they’ve ditched the negotiations (at least until November) and now they’ve ditched the promise of payment early 2019.
Next my prediction is that they will ditch the promise of ending the legal challenge. They will revert to defending WPBR and NSWP and labours pay strategy when we return to tribunal.
Let me be clear. I don’t blame Susan Aitken. I think her heart is in the right place, and the statements she’s made are genuine. But my assessment is she’s being cornered by the machinations of the senior officers and a squeeze from the SNP tribe at national level.
Unfortunately, she’s now repeating the mistakes of the last leader, refusing to listen to what we say because of the image officers are presenting of us. I personally warned the last leader what would happen if he didn’t listen. Because of the advice from their officers and lawyers, he didn’t listen. Now the very same officers and lawyers are saying exactly the same to Susan. Deja Vu anyone?
The Process requires trust for it to succeed. At the moment there is no trust as GCC won’t talk to us about substance. What will happen- the council will present a “position” from which they will not budge. We will reject it, or bits of it. The claims will go back to tribunal and the cost to the council will at least double. Officers will then leave (with a package of course), and there will be an outcry, but too late.
All because officers refuse to believe us and refuse to negotiate.
It’s not irretrievable. It needs a Fresh Team, Fresh resources and Fresh Ideas.
Can they deliver? Let’s hope so