UNISON the union representing staff at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council have called for an apology to all council workers from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Simon Dudley following inappropriate comments made at a recent Employment Panel Hearing.
Councillors were debating the latest results of anonymous exit surveys carried out by the council which showed that former workers had given the trust and confidence in senior leadership one of the top reasons for leaving the councils employment. Cllr Dudley blamed the negative nature of questions for the poor results and was quoted in an article on the 1st December in the Maidenhead Advertise as saying “It’s a bit like asking, when did you last beat your wife?”
UNISON Central and East Berks Branch Secretary, Billie Reynolds said:
“I am dismayed at the crass and insensitive comments made by Cllrs Dudley and Wilson in response to the results of an online staff exit survey at Windsor & Maidenhead Council. In their attempts to undermine the genuine concerns of staff they have demonstrated exactly why our members need more support than ever from a trade union in what is already an extremely difficult environment for local government workers.
“May I remind Cllrs Dudley and Wilson that elected members have a duty of care to staff and we will continue to support our members to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.”
Further concerns were raised during the meeting about sickness absence and the effects of workplace stress. Research undertaken in 2015 by the TUC revealed that every two minutes, a worker somewhere in the UK is made ill through stress at work.
UNISON has been inundated with requests to provide advice and representation for local government members who are under increasing workload pressures and responsibilities, due to continuing cuts in funding by Central Government to local government budgets.