UNISON trusts that the decision to allow its Chief Executive Sue Bruce to take up a second job with an energy company will herald a new approach by the council to all of its staff.
In particular, we look forward to a more sympathetic approach to time off for staff doing unpaid trade union duties, and to staff on low pay who have no choice except to take a second job just to make ends meet.
When front line staff are pushed to the limit covering for staff shortages, it is not a good message that the Chief Executive has enough time to take on a second job.
Justifications that this will help bring lessons from the private sector will not wash with UNISON members. They see how privatised services up and down the country cut costs by cutting wages and quality of service. That is efficient for shareholders but not for those who rely on the services.
Public services have little to learn from the private sector but a lot to learn from their own employees who deliver the services. That is where the Chief Executive’s energies should be channeled.