Monday, September 07, 2009

And The Public Sector Gravy Train Just Keeps On A-Rollin'………

Yet another example reaches Clameur de Haro's in-box of questionable workforce expansion done with a cavalier disregard for its impact on the public finances.
This time it's in Harbours, and involves the recent recruitment, apparently, of an assistant to the so-called Development Director, Myra Shacklady.
Clameur de Haro has not met the lady in question, but his friends in diverse parts of the maritime community assure him that throughout their particular world the prevailing view of Ms Shacklady's demonstrated expertise and competence is one of near-total derision: "complete waste of space" being the phrase most often employed (and also, it has to be said, the politest).
In the current straitened condition of the public finances, one might have thought that with precious little States-funded development likely to be undertaken in the Harbours in the next few years, the need for a full-time so-called development director was debatable, and that the responsible course of action would have been to reduce the role to a 3-day week, with a 40% salary cut. That, after all, is the kind of measure that many businesses in the hard-pressed private sector, both here and in the UK, are being forced to take as they struggle to survive.
But, of course, this is the public sector, and Jersey. Where not only has it been decreed that this kind of cost-saving in the public interest is unthinkable, but that moreover Ms Shacklady actually requires an assistant director, no less. And where Harbours' business case for the additional post was allegedly signed off by a Treasury Minister otherwise exhorting (not too forcefully, it has to be said) curbs on spending.
It gets worse. Clameur de Haro's source reveals that the preferred candidate found the maximum salary for the post's advertised grade to be insufficient and unacceptable, whereupon the salary offer was raised by about 10% to secure the candidate's services.
No doubt all those people affected by the redundancies announced so far this year in the private sector will be comforted by the knowledge that the direction of Harbours development is at no risk of being under-resourced.
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