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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Debt cuts, Labour stylee

Now, here's a thing.

A source tells me Labour is today sending out a letter (from Gen Sec Iain McNicol) telling its 300 staff that some of them will have to be made redundant. The reason? To cut the party's £1.7m debts.

Voluntary redundancy is being offered at first. But if not enough come forward, compulsory job cuts will come.

The key paragraph in the letter is this:

"If we are to show people we are serious about cutting the debts of the country then we must also cut the debts of The Labour Party."

 

Here's the letter in full:

 

Dear All,

Throughout the far reaching review of our party organisation which Charles Allen and I have undertaken, I have tried to keep everyone updated as we have progressed. We have learned from what you and many others have told us – to understand what has worked and what hasn’t worked and what we need to do to make us a winning team again.

The review has emphasised the need for us to listen more to the electorate, to change our organisation and place more emphasis on grassroots, to have more dialogue with and motivate our activists, members and supporters, to give them the training and tools to win.

In November, I announced a new structure designed to modernise our organisation and address the issues raised through the review. Each of the Executive Directors reporting to me has been asked to work on plans to optimise our organisation, in order to make us more efficient, refocus and re-energise our work in critical areas and to strengthen and professionalise our operations.

All of this must, however, be achieved against a backdrop of the financial challenge we are all familiar with.

The Executive Director’s proposals will be finalised in July and will be presented to the JTUC as per the Terms of Reference, sent to you by the JTUC on 24th May. However, on a number of occasions I have been asked by the JTUC and others whether we would offer a Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS). For obvious reasons this is something I have been reluctant to contemplate but the management board and I have concluded that this is now what we need to do.

The VSS will be available from the 14th of June and applications are invited from any member of staff who may be interested in applying. The terms offered will be those described in the Staff Handbook and confidential quotations will be made available, without commitment on either side, upon request. Would anyone seeking a quotation please contact Emilie Oldknow.  Having received a quotation, anyone wishing to apply should arrange to meet with their Executive Director. The scheme is voluntary on both sides. Please understand however that applications for Voluntary Severance are not guaranteed to be accepted and that the Executive Directors and I will be the final arbiters. We will seek to ensure that all applications have been responded to by 27th of June.

The objective of all of us is that the Party should be a “one term opposition”. To achieve this we need to make changes which are sometimes painful but necessary like those I’ve described above. I know this is not easy, but if we are to show people we are serious about cutting the debts of the country then we must also cut the debts of The Labour Party.

As always, I am very happy to receive feedback or any questions you may have. If you wish please drop me an email, telephone or leave a message at the office and I will get back to you.

Executive Directors will be holding meetings with their teams in the next 24 hours to discuss this.

 

Yours

Iain                                


 

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