Monday, 11 September 2017

Birmingham Labour Leader Quits

BIRMINGHAM City Council leader John Clancy has resigned following the city's bin dispute disaster  admitting he has made mistakes.
The Labour leader’s resignation comes as a direct result of his handling of the bin strike - in particular the recriminations following the aborted deal he struck with the Unite union in mid-August.

When his efforts to end the damaging dispute failed he tried to shift blame to the Unite union, claiming there never was deal.
This was then contradicted in both a leaked email he sent to bin depot staff and a statement from the conciliation service Acas.
He was accused of overstepping his authority, souring relations with unions and senior council staff and ignoring crucial legal advice in trying to force through the deal.
A string of Labour colleagues, both in private and in public, called for him to go.
But in his resignation statement Councillor Clancy blamed what he called the ‘frenzied media speculation’ for his decision to go.
He added: 'I wish to stress that the actions I took along with my cabinet to negotiate an end to an extremely complex and difficult industrial dispute were done with the best of intentions. None of us are perfect, and I made some mistakes, for which I am sorry and take full responsibility.'
It was his bad management of the bitter bin strike, which began on June 30, that prompted direct intervention of the Government and senior Labour Party figures which finally led to his downfall.
Unite says Chief Executive should go!

Meanwhile Howard Beckett, assistant general secretary of the Unite Union says that the council chief executive Stella Manzie, who he blames for the collapse of the deal, should follow the leader and resign.
He said:  'The interim chief executive has lost the trust of Birmingham city council’s workforce and the people of Birmingham. Time and again through her action Stella Manzie has shown herself to be dishonourable.'

A key element in the collapse of the deal is the threat of costly equal pay action had the council agreed to allow 113 redundancy threatened binmen to remain on their current pay grade. Unite argue that extra duties can be added to justify the grade, but council lawyers said that such a move would be rejected by the courts.

The council’s deputy leader Ian Ward, has taken over as interim leader.

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