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33 Million of Cost/Savings Per Annum


icepick239
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What I have noticed is no one has suggested what they can do in the community to help reduce the cuts. Perhaps you have been so used to the Council as it was with a very well respected care system and how it looked after everything that you don't know how to "feed yourselves".

 

With the Big Society comes public responsibility.

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I'm afraid it still doesn't change the fact that many manual workers are probably facing eventual redundancy after suffering a thousand cuts along the way.....

 

Hopefully this statement is garbage too.

 

Well, if you're going to refer to my comments, which are based on what I know, as "garbage" then there's little point in discussing this further with you.

 

Sorry, my comment was based on the vast majority of what I now read on this website.

 

Ok, no worries then :)

 

It just saddens me that the SIC is such a class ridden organisation where the people doing the manually hardest and dirtiest work are so poorly paid.

 

From what I've been told Single Status actually left the poorest still the poorest and on shockingly low wages.

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Yes, and most left with sizeable retirement packages while many lesser mortals who wanted to get out were refused......

 

If you've been earning £40,000+ per year for, say, 10, 20 or 30 odd years I guess you can afford to bow out, unlike the many manual workers who are on little better than £16-18,000 per year......

 

I'm afraid it still doesn't change the fact that many manual workers are probably facing eventual redundancy after suffering a thousand cuts along the way.....

 

Nobody likes being made redundant and to a degree I can understand your argument but ...

 

... "little better than £16-£18,000 per year" - I know of several positions in Shetland where people requiring qualifications for their jobs are on less money than that of say a street sweeper (if indeed you are referring to £16k-£18k being that of a street sweeper). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that they don't deserve £18k but in this financial climate, the Council should be paying the going market rates. As pointed out on other threads (if not this one), there was a time when those in the private sector were far better off than those in the public sector - this isn't the case these days.

 

As for outsourcing work (and I'll try not to be biased here given that I do outsourcing work albeit not from the SIC at present), not all contractors are bad. Take the example above concerning playgrounds. There are firms now that do nothing apart from inspect playgrounds up and down the UK. They have invested in training their staff to be aware of the relevant procedures, something that just isn't always feasible and economic for local authorities to do, given the red tape involved these days. So would you rather train staff to that level only for them to only utilise those skills (and get rusty in the process?) say for the equivalent of perhaps one month a year?

 

Is it not also the case that a well known joinery firm up here now carry out window repairs for the SIC?

 

Where the SIC appear to fall down is their lack of auditing procedures being utilised in actually checking what work contractors have or haven't done and getting them to rectify any snagging items/ensure work is up to the deemed necessary standard.

 

Is it not the case that the amount of Council Tax paid is still capped by the Government and in addition, the SIC does receive income (in whatever form) from the Government, just like many other local authorities? Regardless of whether we be in the private sector or public sector, many of us pay Income Tax and Council Tax. Do we want a situation whereby SIC staff, regardless of grade, are paid more than those in the private sector to the extent that those in the private sector can no longer afford to live here? Okay, I probably haven't worded that well but I hope you get my point.

 

Someone also mentioned community skips - I thought the SIC paid the Community Councils to organise these and it was the CCs that put the lists up in the shops. Would it be cheaper to scrap the skips and adopt a system whereby you telephone in and are told what day your knackered washing machine/fridge/whatever will be collected? This would stop builders (if indeed they do) taking advantage and filling the skip to the brim on the first day it arrived and force them to use the main dump. I don't know what happened prior to the skips but surely in this day and age fly-tipping wouldn't be a problem as fly-tippers' rubbish can be identified, the costs incurred in bringing them to justice re-claimed as part of that process, etc.

 

Oops, almost forgot - if VE goes ahead followed by lots of other windfarms, compulsory purchases on properties and the like, the problem will be solved - they'll be no streets left to sweep (apart from the ghost town of Lerwick and perhaps Scalloway), nobody to use the leisure centres, visit Mareel and the museum because Shetland will be one massive industrial windfarm. :wink:

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Is it not also the case that a well known joinery firm up here now carry out window repairs for the SIC?

 

well if this is ture then why have i been waiting from dec 2011 to get 3 windows done and they are others here been waiting 2 years for the same

 

It may well be the case that the SIC have taken the decision not to carry out certain repairs if the property where you reside is earmarked for window refurbishment within a certain timescale. That said, the SIC still has an obligation, as Landlord, to meet the criteria set down in law concerning repairs. If your window pane is smashed and letting in rain, dirt, wind, etc., they have to fix it pronto. If, on the other hand, the double-glazing has failed then they probably aren't under an obligation to repair it pronto. Each case would have to be judged on its own merit.

 

I did post yonks back concerning a window repair that hadn't been done for someone I know. On telephoning, it transpired that the Repairs Section had gone onto a different computer system or there was the scenario that if a surveyor had visited and found nobody at home, they never got back in contact with the Tenant again. Therefore, it might be worth you telephoning again and make enquiries as to whether or not your repair is on the system ... but I think it was back in 2010 they changed computer systems. Either way, you deserve an explanation as to when you can expect your windows to be repaired.

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Re a comment above on refurbishing/renewing playparks, I heard on Radio Shetland last night that one or both of the ones done was being upgraded for the first time in 25 years. I think this rolling programme is long overdue and if we want to retain young people and families in our remoter communities this is a good thing. I know it takes more than a playpark but once the capital is commited the overall maintenance is not a killer - especially on new kit rather than something 20+ years old and falling to bits.

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the Council should be paying the going market rates. As pointed out on other threads (if not this one), there was a time when those in the private sector were far better off than those in the public sector - this isn't the case these days.

If the going market rate for some jobs was substantially above that paid by the SIC, should those salaries be increased? Or are we thinking about a one way equivalence? ;)

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unlinkedstudent, yeh, I know what you mean and am aware that many jobs in the private sector are on equally poor pay and I'm not sure what the answer is.....:(

 

I just believe that a worker, any worker, deserves a decent/liveable wage whatever they're doing but the SIC as an organisation don't seem prepared to address the issue of low pay in their ranks.

 

They talk about "ethical" investing etc but are quite prepared to turn a blind eye to the members of their staff who are basically living in what is recognised as poverty i.e where it is a struggle to make ends meet.

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The difficulty we all now find ourselves in, whether it be Shetland, the UK generally or the Eurozone is that the demands of the public sector and its "spend spend" philosophy will cripple us all.Final salary schemes have never and will never be affordable other than at someone else's expense. The end result, with irresponsible Union input, is that we are doomed. Fact!

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the Council should be paying the going market rates. As pointed out on other threads (if not this one), there was a time when those in the private sector were far better off than those in the public sector - this isn't the case these days.

If the going market rate for some jobs was substantially above that paid by the SIC, should those salaries be increased? Or are we thinking about a one way equivalence? ;)

 

I hear ya but we're discussing about the present and not the past when private sector pay was quite higher than public sector pay. If anything, the situation is now reversed.

 

In answer to your question, it somewhat depends on 'supply and demand'. If there is a shortage of workers then the LA should pay at a rate whereby they attract the calibre of people with the necessary skillset(s) required for the positions and offer a package to make them want to stay (as opposed to what seems to have happened whereby some get offered a place to live and then leave as soon as the living accommodation ceases).

 

It is ludicrous to pay above the going market rate if positions can be filled at the market rate. Even if the private sector was to pay substantially higher than the SIC, the SIC (and other LAs for that matter) should, IMHO, only be paying what they can afford. However, perhaps it should also be borne in mind that there are many positions within the public sector to which there are no direct comparables within the private sector.

 

Example: School Secretary on one of the outer isles compared to a School Secretary in a private boarding school - who has the busiest workload? Therefore, productivity also needs to be taken into account. Does the SIC have a typing pool or a Secretary per Department? Are they doing what many law firms do now (which has resulted in a huge loss of permanent legal secretarial roles across the UK) whereby they employ fee earners who can type? Many law firms won't take on Trainee Solicitors unless they can type. I know in some London Boroughs it isn't uncommon for Social Workers/Occupational Therapists to have to type up their own reports, or at the very least do their own edits. Now I'm not saying this is the right way to go, just commenting on working methods.

 

So should a School Secretary on an outer isle earn the same as a (perhaps much busier?) private boarding school one?

 

Scrap 1-2-1s. Why on earth spend so many working hours on these monthly meetings? (That is, if they do them up here).

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the Council should be paying the going market rates. As pointed out on other threads (if not this one), there was a time when those in the private sector were far better off than those in the public sector - this isn't the case these days.

If the going market rate for some jobs was substantially above that paid by the SIC, should those salaries be increased? Or are we thinking about a one way equivalence? ;)

I hear ya but we're discussing about the present and not the past when private sector pay was quite higher than public sector pay. If anything, the situation is now reversed.

I know it's not the general public perception of SIC wages, but I am thinking of a specific current example of local private/public sector jobs......

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The difficulty we all now find ourselves in, whether it be Shetland, the UK generally or the Eurozone is that the demands of the public sector and its "spend spend" philosophy will cripple us all.Final salary schemes have never and will never be affordable other than at someone else's expense. The end result, with irresponsible Union input, is that we are doomed. Fact!

 

Bullsh*t

 

The private sector has siphoned off all the profits to the CEO's and other members of the mutually backslapping club while suppressing wages for the rest and plundering their pension schemes. This has been going on for the last 30 years and look where we are.

 

Now people want to do the same to the public sector.

 

A 10% wealth tax on the 1% and the deficit is solved. Jail the tax avoiders and seize their assets and you'll plug the pensions gap as well.

 

Expecting the economy to improve by sacking people and raising taxes on the 99% is madness, When people are out of work or feeling insecure about their jobs they spend less money, not more.

 

Supply side economics doesn't work. We cut taxes for the rich and the corporations, the "job creators", so where are the jobs?

 

Nowhere to be seen because they kept the money to themselves.

 

Supply side economics is voodoo. It doesn't work. We've just spent the last 30 years proving this. Time to try something new.

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I know in some London Boroughs it isn't uncommon for Social Workers/Occupational Therapists to have to type up their own reports, or at the very least do their own edits. Now I'm not saying this is the right way to go, just commenting on working methods.

 

so using highly trained staff as a typist s is a cost saving. i don't think so. it may appear to be a cost saving but it does not improve the service and is a typical public sector idea. nothing wrong with being a typist but why train someone as a social worker say and then use them in a much lower pay role.

thats why the country is in a mess people making these stupid cuts. a typist pool would out preform any group of trained workers typing two fingered.

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The difficulty we all now find ourselves in, whether it be Shetland, the UK generally or the Eurozone is that the demands of the public sector and its "spend spend" philosophy will cripple us all.Final salary schemes have never and will never be affordable other than at someone else's expense. The end result, with irresponsible Union input, is that we are doomed. Fact!

 

Bullsh*t

 

The private sector has siphoned off all the profits to the CEO's and other members of the mutually backslapping club while suppressing wages for the rest and plundering their pension schemes. This has been going on for the last 30 years and look where we are.

 

Now people want to do the same to the public sector.

 

A 10% wealth tax on the 1% and the deficit is solved. Jail the tax avoiders and seize their assets and you'll plug the pensions gap as well.

 

Expecting the economy to improve by sacking people and raising taxes on the 99% is madness, When people are out of work or feeling insecure about their jobs they spend less money, not more.

 

Supply side economics doesn't work. We cut taxes for the rich and the corporations, the "job creators", so where are the jobs?

 

Nowhere to be seen because they kept the money to themselves.

 

Supply side economics is voodoo. It doesn't work. We've just spent the last 30 years proving this. Time to try something new.

 

Where do you think all the money come from in the first place? The private sector! So, you're proposing to tax those who have been successful again to pay for an unsustainable and unproductive public sector with wildly unrealistic wages and pension expectations. It's little wonder that successful business people are leaving the UK in their droves and paying their taxes to other countries who are only too glad to receive additional revenue in these difficult times. I suggest paying everyone based on their productivity and results to bring some accountability to a public sector that is hugely out of control and equally out of touch with the real world. If that was adopted then the cost savings we seek would be easily achievable in my view.

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