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33 Million of Cost/Savings Per Annum


icepick239
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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.

 

I never said it was a cost saving; however, if you have highly trained staff (and I did say 'if') who have the time to be able to type/do their own edits and have nothing else to do, then yes, it would be a cost saving.

 

"Why train someone as a social worker" - Correct me if I'm wrong, but many social workers take the first initiative by enrolling at a college/university and then get placements within LAs. There were certainly several people on the first OU course I took who were not sponsored by LAs.

 

"... trained workers typing two fingered" - I know several highly trained staff who are capable of typing with more than two fingers and whilst not having speeds in excess of 70wpm, can type between 40 and 60wpm.

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At the SIC we used to handwrite letters or record them on a dictaphone.. You passed this to a typist who gave you back the finished product to check. If there was a mistake it had to go back to be retyped.

 

By the time I left the SIC in 2005 they had templates set up in Word to allow staff to type their own corespondence. That cut out a whole level of wasted time and effort. The correspondence was typed in much the same time it took to write out and was ready for posting.

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a social work student needs sponsorship by a recognized body. they can't become registered without it.

 

Anyone can enroll on health and social care courses with the OU (K101, for example) and use the credit transfer point system thereby undertaking some of the modules that are covered on the actual social work degree course. The social work degree course has to be sponsored by a recognised body/employer but many now expect those wanting to be a social worker to have got off their backsides/showed willingness, etc., and done some of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 modules before even approaching them. It takes 6 years of part-time study to get a degree in social work with the OU - how many do you think drop out?

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Surely this is a time for pay rises to be looked at too. I've never understod why employees are awarded, say 2% across the board. This just means that the highly differenatial increases, and so does the divide.

 

2% of £100k salary - some earn more than that - is a huge increase compared to 2% of £20k, and some SIC workers earn less than that.

 

If everyone's salary was increased by, say £500 p.a., the lower paid would benefit more than the higher paid, and the higher paid don't need any more any way.

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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!

 

What a load of rubbish.

 

Final salary pensions when managed properly do work.

 

The NHS pension is a final salary scheme.

 

Contrary to the lies the government rattles out, the NHS pension costs the tax payer nothing at all, and is actually in a significant surplus to the tune of £2 billion (which goes into the treasury's coffers, by the way).

 

Despite this the gorvernment wants doctors to pay even more into the pot (and this will be a greater percentage than anyone else in the public sector).

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  • 1 month later...

Soon, the Council 's back off holiday and the nitty gritty of cuts starts.

 

All these reviews will be automatically slowing things and watering down the savings. If members can't stomach school and ferry cuts, we have almost nowhere left to go for the money. The recent article in the ST laid it out pretty starkly

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2012/07/20/action-needed-now-or-sic-oil-funds-could-disappear-in-five-years

But things are probably even worse than that by now.

Confidence in the current management is not high - the glitzy corp HQ, the management restructure that saved very little but gave big payoffs to the few. Nobody carries the can for the huge blunders like Bressay Bridge, AHS, or Sullom Voe tugs and there is massive anger towards previous Councils and managers who let it get in this state.

 

How do we get out of this hole? Do you have confidence that the SIC is now on the right track?

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The telling may be in the votes and comments of those who voiced an opinion and may now change it when the full facts and implications are known. If a particular stance is going to cost the tax payer more, there is a duty then to justify this. Councillors can "force" the issue as we may have seen in the past. It will be the moral dilemma that will be the cost. Though with no election due for a while, Councillors can settle down to working on their own "new" profile, it will change, and the overall benefits to the council and those it represents. The sad thing is many commentators do not attend the meetings of the council and sometimes do not ask the correctly worded questions, or even any question. Some of the meetings are interlinked.

 

Perhaps a question that should be asked is would it be better for external control?

 

Personally, I think this is wrong, it goes against the ConDems Big Society and Community involvement. This too has now been creating huge waves with the declaration of DPI (Disposable Pecuniary Interest) and the declarations of interest of not only the elected members but of their partners too. This has raised all sorts of problems. There are senarios that could render many councillors unable to either do their ward work, which is the big reason they may have been elected or represent the council in the new "fair" way.

 

While the GOVs are demanding that councillors become more responsible and invoke community involvement, they are also removing councillors from many community activities because of tenuous links of themselves or their partners on DPI.

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Something I don't believe has been published is a simple side by side comparison of what money is avaliable, and what current costs are, so people can see in a very basic "family budget" style what the council is faced with.

 

Sure, all the info is there but hasn;t been that well presented in a whole council sense.

 

I do believe that would make it easier for those who haven't to accept that you can't object to cuts unless you have valid alternative ideas for funding whatever services you want retained.

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It is a good idea, however, it could take a great deal of officer time to do this, as you have stated, it is not as simple as it sounds.

Here, most of the redundancies have been in schools, but a large number in management (it was shocking to find out that 75% of those got rid of were women). Officer time has been stretched.

You could find this out by using a FOI request. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

 

The explanation has been covered by Convener Malcolm Bell. Shetland is spending far more than it gets, so dips. “The return on the £1 million annually is enough, for example, to run the Freefield Centre.†is a great example of what the reserves could do if managed properly. I am very happy he used the Freefield Centre as an example.

Folk cannot quantify what the millions would look like. It would be impossible to cut back on the Governance, this is vital, but the management could make a small difference.

 

I do not agree with Kavi, when he has said that manual workers will be the bulk of those who will be made redundant, I was wondering if he had the information to show this. The cuts have hit certain groups far more than others. Women have been the target so far for these cuts, many of the tasks they do have been the focal point of the cuts. Here we have lost over 6,000 school employees, full and part time, over 4,000 have been women. I am unsure of the breakdown, but women take school jobs because it fits with bringing up children. Now we have a number of folk who are either claiming benefits or are having to struggle on an single salary and possibly claiming on that.

 

Managers are the ones here to have been hit the most. This has had, for a while a dramatic effect on the service provisions. Officers are now being charged with finding a way to make themselves redundant as well as having a maintained service after their demise.

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There should definitely be some collaboration with the Orkney council with some administration services centralised there and some being centralised here. Included in this, should be a centralised purchasing department where bulk purchasing will bring better prices in addition to savings in administrative costs.

Inevitably, some jobs would be lost but to not even consider it would mean the council continuing to have "sacred cows".

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Councils here have done that already, with policies. A saving of about £200,000 a year plus the additional staff the councils can make redundant as a result. Purchasing powers could be increased, SIC and OIC would make bigger savings as SIC budget is about 10 times that of our boroughs, still not where near the £30,000,000 and more required to balance the books as the savings would have to be shared. A good way perhaps.

You have to keep in mind of the social aspect of cutting staff so you may get a service retained. No point starving the "children" to save money, you could end up with another generation of folk who may not be able to find work and leave, this will have a negative effect on the population. Which could lead to further cutbacks there are less to serve and the precepts reflect this...

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Council communications could certainly be better. That list of savings that was before Council in February should be re-published with notes of progress (or not) on each one. Maybe some aren't achievable, but let's keep the public starkly and properly informed. Folk bat back and forth trivia about street lights and yellow vans, and though the little things matter, we are in danger of ruining valuable services through death by a thousand cuts, while we don't tackle the big sums.

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The stark and unpleasant reality is that the SIC employs far to many people and has to do something drastic about it's near £100 Million annual wage bill.

 

Personally, I do not think that the 'front line' workforce can stand much in the way of cuts but, I think that there are far to many employed in offices.

 

No 'private' business could stand those kind of staffing levels, paying relatively high wages, and expect to make a profit.

 

It's unfortunate that many things have been out of control for so long but the only real alternative to drastically reducing expenditure would be to drastically increase income.

 

Anyone care to tell me where THAT money would come from?

 

It isn't exactly 'rocket science' and the sooner our representatives stop 'pussy footing' around the edges of the problem and do something, the better it will be for everybody in the long run.

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