Baskers World

The last of the crumbs?



As I sit at my desk, eating a slice of cake that was brought in for our ‘nibbles’ session – Don’t worry, it didn’t cost the tax payer anything, we paid for it all ourselves as a way to try and improve communication/networking within the Department – I find I can no longer finish it.

I’ve lost my appetite.

I stare at the crumbs on the plate and can’t help but think that’s all we have to look forward to in this new era of fiscal austerity and the impending ‘Slasher’ Spending Review.

I’m being squeezed. Cut head count. Lose contract staff. Reduce your cost. Stop travelling. Don’t print out in colour. Don’t print double sided. Don’t order any stationary ( should I tell them my stapler is broke?). Don’t do any systems development ( should I tell them that it’s not me that changes the requirements, it’s Treasury, Cabinet Office, No. 10, that necessitate the corresponding system updates/upgrades?).

What do I *stop* doing?

I’m not hearing an answer to that.

When I explain the risks and consequences of losing contract staff, I somewhat feel that I’m being listened to, but it’s not really registering. I’m also not being given any assurances about being able to retrain existing staff in the necessary skills and qualifications to bridge the gap……..

This all leaves me feeling rather uneasy, stressed out and feeling that I’m living with am impending timebomb over my head. Cause systems and processes will begin to fail… They will fall over… We will miss key deadlines…..And I simply wont be in a position to fix it anymore. I won’t have the skills or experienced staff in place in my team to help me pick up the pieces.

There will be no more room for innovation, we will be too busy just trying to hold things together at best.

These are the consequences of the decisions to cut specialist contract staff.

This entry was published on June 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm. It’s filed under Blogging, Civil Service, Finance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “The last of the crumbs?

  1. “Let them eat cake.” remark falsely attributed to David Cameron upon learning that civil servants had no money to buy stationary.*

    As ever a great post, although I’m sorry to hear how Spartan your budget has become. Somehow the headlines in the media don’t seem to bring it home in the same way.

    Bad luck about your stapler breaking on top of everything else; I’ll keep a look out for a nice Hello Kitty one to replace it for you.

    *by me :p but somehow it seemed to fit your piece…

  2. At least you still have a job, and a very nice pension. in the private sector we have had to deal with the recession. so stary thinking creatively. oh and stop getting drunk and tweeting. The world is full of people who will use what you post against you…

  3. Hi there

    I sympathise. My work comes from both the private & public sectors. The private sector work went off a cliff in 2008. Our turnover more than halved, we “released” our sole employee, spent our savings, no pension, took out new debt etc etc.

    The private sector income started picking up in the second half of this year just as the public sector work will disappear.

    Welcome to our world!

    PS you can buy 2 bottles of red wine for a fiver from most local shops. Surprisingly drinkable.

  4. Didn’t mean to sound arsey. It’s just it’s been bad out here for 2-3 years.

  5. Honestly, is there a team leader who would not baulk at seeing their team threatened or any public servant who would not feel challenged by the recent events?

    For that matter would we (as tax payers) even want somebody managing in the civil service who would *not* feel distressed when their team is broken up?

    It is certainly true that things have, by any measure, become very tough in the private sector. Of course, given the cuts which are being imposed on the public sector, it is fair to say that our civil servants, nurses, emergency services et al are currently in the process of dealing with the recent recession as well, what with their looming redundancies, etc. – although of course the situation is going to be somewhat different and the impact has been delayed till after the recent election. So surely tough times for both public and private sectors.

    The really sad thing is that tfl’s comment about tweeting has been mirrored in that (in my opinion after following both this blog and Sarah’s tweets for some time) very unfair attack in the Daily Mail.

    Baskers, personally I want to know about how you feel. This blog has been a really interesting insight into how it feels to work in the public sector without feeling that I continuously have to filter out the spin. If you stop posting so candidly, or start having to evaluate everything which you say in case it ‘can be used against you’ well that is a sad reflection on our society and it will be a sadder loss to the blog / twitter world.

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