GMB members left feeling ‘totally worthless and humiliated’ after being targeted by Newham in latest restructure sham

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GMB members who worked in ‘Our Newham Learning and Skills’ (ONLS) have come under attack again in another sham restructure of the department. This time, six long-serving GMB members have had their part-time roles deleted and have been made redundant only around eighteen months after the roles were created.

GMB London has been informed that the department has since been able to offer a part-time post for two of its management team. This demonstrates a clear disparity in how our members are treated compared to management. This comes just a couple of years after GMB members voted overwhelmingly to move to a strike ballot due to a dispute about rampant nepotism within the service.

GMB representatives have continually had to challenge management about the mismanagement of the contract change of our six members, having moved from sessional to permanent in the last restructure. The latest move to delete these posts gives GMB immediate concerns about victimisation.

A GMB member said:

“I have been treated appallingly by my employer Newham Council. I have taught Part-time for Newham Adult Education for many years and have regularly been rated an outstanding tutor. I now consider I have been chucked away like rubbish, on a whim with not even a mention let alone a thank you. I have been made to feel totally worthless and humiliated.  I am concerned for my learners who greatly appreciate and attend community learning for a diversity of valid reasons. They deserve better, and Newham should not treat us or any other member of its staff the way I have been treated.”

John Colquhoun, GMB London Region Organiser said:

“The part-time deleted posts have been replaced with three similar posts offered on a full-time, down-graded basis and at a lower salary. Unsurprisingly, all six GMB members who were interviewed for the new full-time roles have been unsuccessful, despite having decades of service between them. It’s an absolute disgrace that our long-serving and loyal members have been treated like this by their employer.

“This restructure leaves all six being made redundant from their roles despite the three lower grade posts remaining vacant at the end of the restructure. As such, the Newham taxpayer will be funding redundancy payments to highly experienced staff while the council look externally for new staff.

“GMB members and reps are sick to the back teeth of the council continually nodding along with us in meetings and telling us how committed they are to driving positive cultural change, yet when issues like this arise the senior team all look the other way. As a trade union, we are committed to tackling these issues and will not be deterred from achieving positive change for our members.”

GMB calls on the senior leadership team, which includes a very new chief executive, to work with us to put some action behind their words, taking measures to hold senior staff to account and put an end to the mistreatment of their loyal staff and the culture of nepotism blighting the council.

Contact: John Colquhoun, GMB London Region Orgnaiser 079 8075 3114.