You couldn’t make it up as they say. Wirral Council chief executive Graham Burgess admits all staff could be issued redundancy notices in a move that echoes the Militant actions in Liverpool during the Hatton era. Here’s the rub though. Burgess was a senior shop steward in Liverpool during the Militant years and opposed the move to serve redundancy notices on 30,000 staff – one of the main reasons for Militant’s downfall, as Hatton explains in his biography.
Burgess has been brought in from Blackburn on a two year contract to decimate jobs and services with a hit list of £49m cuts in the firing line this year. All options have been put to the public to comment on. Though there is one notable exception. A sum of £290,000 has been ringfenced to pay for elected union officials at the Town Hall. Tory councillor Jeff Green says the option wasn’t put forward for a very good reason – the public wouldn’t buy it.
One of the options is to make staff redundant and then re-engage them on different terms and conditions. Another is to keep paying union officials from the council budget. Both will be upto councillors to decide.