More Staffing Woes At RDC?

On Thursday came another announcement from RDC that a second Assistant Director (Head of Democratic Services), in as many months, is due to leave in February.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of the other recent staff departures (all of a senior position) and despite assurances from senior officers within RDC that “the turnover of staff does from time to time has its peaks and troughs but does not reflect how the Council is currently operating.” – this may come as little comfort to residents who regularly complain that telephones don’t get answered, emails go missing or isn’t functioning, planning applications may take a long time to process; all which appear to be the just tip of the iceberg.

It would appear that the staffing woes aren’t only our concern though with the recent ‘Pay Policy Statement‘ recognising that…

Recent resignations within the Leadership Team mean that the Council faces vacancies at a senior level. It is anticipated that the Council will face difficulty in recruiting the necessary skilled senior staff within the constraints of the current salary grading structure for Assistant Directors. Retention of current staff in senior roles is a risk unless the Council keeps abreast of the local/regional job market.

It would appear the Managing Director and one of his senior Assistant Directors are not ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ on staffing at the Council.

 

As austerity continues and Council Tax increases become the norm should residents support six-figure salaries at Rochford District Council?

The Pay Policy Statement goes on to say…

The salary for new appointments or promotions will be made at a salary point within the range for the post dependent on skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. Full Council, or a meeting of Members, would be offered the opportunity to vote before salary packages exceeding £100,000 in respect of new appointments are offered. For this purpose, salary packages would include salary, allowances and any benefits in kind.

Perhaps, despite these alarming suggestions that six-figure salaries may be the only way to recruit and retain senior staff, it may be that existing staff are demoralised and their own self worth is in question as the pay policy seeks to reward only senior employees – so the problem may not just simply extend to senior staff recruitment? We would suggest that this pay policy overlooks the existing staff that already carry out important job roles will not have their jobs ‘evaluated’ so they are paid accordingly.

This was made quite clear from the minutes recorded at the recent full council

In response to a Member question, the Managing Director advised that job evaluations for Leadership Team posts would be carried out by an independent adviser. There was no plan to undertake job evaluations for other Council staff.

Page 7 Full Council Minutes 11th December 2018 – http://bit.ly/2GXJQ9j

Whether the Council are able to overcome problems with higher remuneration is yet to be seen, but we wish those leaving, whatever their reasoning, good luck and thank them for their service.