Friday, 9 April 2010

Public Service Pay-Offs

For those of my readers who aren't quite up to date with the goings-on of a large Scottish quango you can read the story here.

This post is to emphasise my disgust at the £60,000 pay-off the ex-head of SPT will receive - in addition to his annual pension of more than £37,000.

Let's not forget the hoo-ha from the unionists about Alex Salmond applying for his £60,000 golden handshake after 23 years of service in Westminster, yet they are particularly silent in their condemnation of someone who has dark clouds hanging over him regarding the expenses of the organisation he operated.

Ron Culley has had a long career in the public sector, the west of Scotland public sector - known here in the east as 'Scotland's boys club'. Since the sudden resignation of Steven Purcell, head of the biggest council in Scotland, many issues are gradually coming to light and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is one of them. Within hours of the quango's expenses being investigated, Mr Culley resigned 'on health grounds'.

Surely there must be something in Scottish employment law which can ensure people who abuse their positions of power are not rewarded?

May I remind you, Mr Culley will, by law, receive an annual pension of £37,000 - a sum on average only 23% of Scots receive as an annual salary. Speaking as a pensioner £37,000 would possible last me for the rest of my life.

What do these people do to deserve such amounts handed to them? Few Glaswegians think their public transport system has improved since they came into being.

Surely it's time for the Scottish government to intervene and ask for answers or aren't they interested? I don't want to hear the excuse that this is a local authority matter. It is not. It is a national issue and of concern to every council tax payer in the land.


Uncle Marvo said...


I think you're being unfair.

If these people weren't offered these sweeteners, they probably wouldn't do the job.

Public sectors jobs, especially in cities, are arduous, involving long hours, shifts, and being on call 24/7. The senior people can never go on holiday, because their jobs are so important that, if they weren't there, the country would simply cease functioning. There would be anarchy on the streets, laws wouldn't be made, dinners wouldn't be eaten, bollocks wouldn't be talked.

Someone like me, merely responsible for the lives and safety of only a dozen or so people at the hands of a three megawatt facility, deserves comparatively little. I certainly don't expect to be rewarded just because I'm called in at 3 o'clock in the morning several times a month.

No, these people deserve all they get, and I think they should be given at least CBE's, Freedom of the City, free travel (first-class) and expenses so that they can enjoy the best life has to offer in return for all the hard and important (not to mention really skilled) work they have put in over their twenty-odd years of service to God and the Queen.

Now, when do I finish this course of hallucinogenics?

subrosa said...

Marvo, do tell me the name of your pills. I could do with some to help me through the coming weeks.

Uncle Marvo said...


Viagra. I got them off the internets but I think they're a bit dodgy.

They say on them "Dixadrupin".

:-) << unnecessary smiley

Richard T said...

Sub Rosa, you can reasonably girn about his £60k payoff but, unpalatable it may be, his pension is the result of something like 35 years' contributing service. You might also girn that it is a final salary scheme but that's in the contract too. Now if you wish to embark on a wholesale breach of contracts across the public sector then you'd better wish the Scottish government well endowed to pay the fees and I suspect the consequences of losing the cases.

subrosa said...

Richard, my point is that these golden handshakes should not be given to those who have consciously misused their position. Of course there's nothing which can be done about the pensions as they will come under public service pay contracts. But surely the golden handshakes shouldn't be given to those who commit fraud - because that's what they did when claiming expenses irrelevant to their work.

Clarinda said...

I'm in total agreement with Uncle Marvo as it's just the same in the NHS. Layers of self-sacrificing managers and admin staff toiling into the wee sma' hours filling in forms of terribly important stuff. The number of times I've wished there were more bureaucrats to generate more paperwork to ensure our medical and nursing staff were kept in line, would surprise you.

May I politely suggest that the best efficiency savings in the NHS should be aimed at stopping pesky patients from turning up, unannounced, bleeding or even in pain, from using up precious NHS facilities and resources, employing homeopaths whose treatment consists of shoogled tap water and Smarties saving a small fortune on expensive therapeutic pharmaceuticals and further encouragement of our expensively trained and experienced medical staff to seek permanent positions in Australia etc. - where currently only a few hundred go every year. That could pay for at least another layer of management to manage the layer below and a new mop.

Uncle Marvo said...

@clarinda and how much *is* a mop these days?

Andrew_S said...

Richard T . While I have to agree with you about the T's and C's of contracts, and to the Scottish Government having to stand up in court, when are people going to realise that we're fast approaching a point where it doesn't matter what your contracts say - there's *no* money. End Of debate. End of "entitlement". End of contract. It's crystal clear that if the public sector had to account for pension provision using the exact same rules/criteria as the private sector it would be obvious that almost all are carrying a pension burden which is simply impossible for them to fund. They would be shown to be bankrupt. I'm very afraid of the social consequences when it finally dawns that the money's gone, it's been squandered, abused and stolen.

I'm really gloomy about this. Either the stories and facts and analysis you can read on the blogosphere/web are all totally wrong and we really can continue to borrow more money than we earn and just increase our debts without any care for repayment, or we've got to face the reality that it's got to change. We've got a wierd form of social blindness. We can't see the reality of the precipice we're on. Someone else said it's 59 seconds to midnight for economic oblivion.

God, I truly hope the blogosphere/web folk are wrong, otherwise we just don't know what we might be living with in the scarily near future.

I'll put my soapbox away for a while I think.......

hatfield girl said...

Feeling uncomfily o/t here again, but where is that underground system in the photo exactly? It's not exactly the People's Palaces of Moscow, is it? Or even the bourgeois Brussels underground, not even Rome's metropolitana, can't even make it to the London Tube standards. One crowd surge on that mean system platform and half the passengers would be over and onto the track on the other side. How much was paid for this? By whom?
This underground reminds me of the (overground) motorway system in Calabria and Sicily. What has been going on in Scotland?

subrosa said...

Oh Marvo, I don't need them. My libido is in fine shape because I can still mow the grass and iron reasonably well. :)

subrosa said...

Clarinda, I've just remembered a post I was going to do about the NHS. Will try to find the references and do it in the next couple of days.

Please take your BP tablets now, although I'm sure you read it too.

subrosa said...

Andrew I think you have a right to be worried, many are. The crunch won't come for a wee while yet, not until the results of the newly printed notes kick in.

subrosa said...

HG, that is a picture of the Glasgow metro. This quango are responsible for running it efficiently and also other public transport in Glasgow.

I understand, since the quango came into being, the metro is in a worse shape than before.

In defence of the metro it has been there for many years. It's just not been modernised.

emma said...

or even washed by the looks of things! Apart from coming up with ideas that they havent really thought thru (Airport Link etc) what exactly do SPT do for their money?

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