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Local Authorities spend £200 million forcing their staff to sign "compromise agreements" !

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Well now you know why your Local Library or Swimming pool is closing down !


No money for social care - because staff are being paid to prevent whistleblowing or criticism of bosses.



Local Authorities are apparently requiring staff who are taking early retirement/redundancy or leaving after a dispute, to sign a gagging order (compromise agreement). It would appear that the person leaving receives more money if they do this.




Councils have spent more than £200 million on settlements with staff - most of which include "gagging orders", an investigation has found.


Over the past five years, 17,571 "compromise agreements" or settlements were signed by council workers.


Most include a strict clause preventing them from criticising their bosses, BBC Radio 5 live Investigates has found.


Staff received a total of £226.7 million from the settlements, a figure which includes both enhancements and statutory payments.


Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, told the BBC it is unacceptable if the agreements are being used to prevent whistleblowing.






Several teachers forced out of schools at the centre of the Birmingham Trojan Horse scandal were offered settlement agreements.


The teachers raised concerns about governing bodies that were trying to introduce strict Islamic principles.


A Government report into the scandal found there was a perception among staff that the city council preferred to move teachers on rather than confront misbehaving governing bodies.






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Meg Hillier, the chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee, told the BBC it was unacceptable if the agreements were being used to prevent whistleblowing.


She said: “It is ridiculous to make people who are getting redundancy to sign these. It just goes to show it is being used rather indiscriminately.


“There can be no excuse for silencing people who have got a legitimate concern about some serious issues – be it around child protection or basic service delivery that’s not going well. If an employee is being told they can’t talk about something and is bought off, that’s not an acceptable use of these settlement agreements.”





Councils blow £200 MILLION in taxpayers’ cash on staff ‘gagging’ settlements


SHAMELESS councils have splurged more than £200 million in taxpayers’ cash on settlements with staff - most of which include "gagging orders".





One ex worker refused to sign.



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Wirral Council have balanced their books for these gagging orders by removing free swimming. Presumably this will also be one of the LAs who are bemoaning the fact that youngsters are not exercising enough and are obese !!




Wirral Council used the agreements with more than 1,000 people who took voluntary redundancy or early retirement between 2010 and 2012, although the council said they are rarely used now.


The figures come after concerns were raised that authorities are using gagging clauses to stifle criticism.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3520996/Councils-spent-200m-staff-settlements-gagging-orders.html#ixzz44mMFmk9V





"My daughter and her friends were looking forward to going swimming during their time off and this will be a massive blow.


“We will now have to pay around £15 a month or nearly £5 every time she wishes to go.



Mr Charles added: "Our council tax has gone up, they have done nothing to reduce the number of councillors and yet they can still squander OUR money on consultants, gagging clauses and pay-offs.


"I have said this time and time again, it is about time the council is brought to heel and once and for all get this shower of inept fools out of office and where they belong - on the dole queue."





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What is scary is that some of the more recent scandals of child abuse might have been uncovered sooner had this type of gagging had not been going on.



A government report into the so-called Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham in 2013 found that head teachers who were raising concerns about governing bodies that were trying to introduce strict Islamic principles in some schools were offered settlement agreements so they could be removed from their jobs.


One head teacher told the BBC: "The inquiry exposed that Birmingham [Council] let me and my colleagues down. All I can conclude from that is that I actually became the problem because I was complaining too often and they could deal with me rather than actually dealing with the whole issue and exercising their duty of care to me."


Birmingham City Council said it had reviewed the agreements and "they were the right thing to do at the time".




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I heard about this on Radio 5 live this morning. Cardiff council have issued hundreds of gagging clauses to staff leaving, as part of standard practice. It means that ex staff cannot tell anyone interested about issues e.g safety, unless there is something illegal happening.

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I can't see that clause being in plain language which would be an admittance on paper that they are being paid extra to be quiet. I would sign, take the extra and still go blabbing to the papers or anyone else who wanted to know. What would the do, send you to prison.

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