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ROUND AND ABOUT
by Judas Iscariot - November 1999

The run-up to Group Conferences is providing Falconcrest with a heaven sent opportunity to indulge its passion for profligacy, incompetence and irrelevance. Most staff assiduously avoided recently arranged seminars for HQ staff on the alien concept of "Value For Money". Curiously, the (private) providers of this service charge only £2000 + VAT per day. Deep cover Agents within Falconcrest have leaked these detailed plans for further seminars to be held to help our HQ staff communicate better with The Great Unwashed:

A PROPOSAL FOR A HALF-DAY SEMINAR ON INNOVATION AND CHANGE "INVENTING THE WHEEL"

1. The convenor (who should ideally be a senior manager) welcomes participants to the seminar, makes sure everyone knows who everyone else is, and explains the domestic arrangements.

2. She/he then explains that, whilst we are doing well, we face a lot of competition in the future from unexpected sources, and need to innovate, and do things better, and differently. But senior managers are not sure how we should do this, because they don't deal with things at the front line. We all have an investment in the unions future success, and want to be ahead of the times. We want you help.

3. The convenor introduces a group exercise, with a short fairy tale, which could perhaps be better (and more amusingly) presented as a cartoon.

Fairytale

Once upon a time there were no wheels anywhere in the world. When our ancestors wanted to travel, they walked. When they wanted to move heavy objects, they dragged them with ropes, and maybe rollers. Progress was very slow. Life was very hard. There was little time to think. These days, when someone makes an invention, there are patent and copyright laws to ensure that they get the full credit for their work. But in the prehistoric past, invention was anonymous. Nobody knows who invented the wheel, or how it was invented. What do we think might have happened?

GROUP WORK

Invite students to imagine how the wheel was invented, and by whom:

1. (a) was it by an individual?

(b) or was it a team?

(c) did it happen in a moment of inspiration, or was it a gradual thing?

(d) what use was the wheel first put to?

(e) how did the idea go down with the log rollers' union?

 

2. what was the reaction of the EEC?

 

3 Depending how many participants and groups there are, there is a report back and discussion on the above.

 

4. The convenor has to make only two points:

(a) nobody knows what really happened

(b) the wheel didn't matter until somebody invented the axle

 

5. The convenor then invites a general discussion (in groups, if the number of participants require) HOW YOU CAN SPARK INNOVATION IN PCS

(a) What changes you would like to see

(b) How you can get these changes put through

(c) How you will benefit from these changes

(d) How members will benefit from these changes

 

6 The conclusions that the convenor will invite participants to draw will be:

(a) Lots of people have very good ideas about making things a little bit better, which in the end makes things a lot better;

(b) The person who invented the wheel was nothing without the person who invented the axle;

(c) Your idea for innovation may not work in isolation, but it may revolutionise things in ways you don't anticipate if someone else recognises a different application for it;

(d) Your idea for change may not work now, but it will be kept in mind for the future;

 

A circular will follow up the seminar to all staff encouraging them to put forward ideas for improving the way we work. Regular reports would be made through teams of progress following that.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Attendance is now being made compulsory, even if you happen to be retiring from work the following week.

The HEO grading dispute rumbles on. The odious UNDY is not just concerned that the former CPSA HEO's (the only people to whom this review applies) are over-graded, but that any exercise that promotes them into a higher grade is promoting "Barry's Boys" and is therefore politically incorrect. Predictably, the inevitable IT looms - more juicy morsels for the legal beagles. But perhaps not: when you submit an IT1 - details of your complaint - to the IT, they send an IT3 to the other party asking for their side of the story. In this instance, the IT3's landed on the desks of complainants SKIPPY, HANSON, HICKEY et al. All of whom can be trusted to ensure the forms reach their correct destination without mischief.

Recently, appointment/recruitment exercises to Falconcrest staff have also gone awry: Internal candidates were issued with External candidate forms, which asked whether they had work permits, if PCS could contact their current employer (this caused particular consternation) etc. The forms also included a non-existent date for the decision making process. The appointment interviews were cancelled at the last minute. Apparently, the head of personnel had failed to notify POO-BAH of the composition of the boards and the rules for recruitment. Predictably, notices did not go out to the board members or the candidates in time and the by now familiar confusion ensued.

DSS BA ex-drunk and maverick GEC candidate NEIL BRONKHORST has also caused problems at Falconcrest. Not only is he one of only 2 awkward members of PCS to retain dual-membership of Executive and Administrative constituencies (the other is DOREEN PURVIS, a boss HEO), but he has the temerity to insist that his name is spelt correctly on inconsequential bits of bumph such as election addresses and ballot papers. Despite 3 proof readings, errors were found on return from the printers. Pulping and reprinting cost £4500. We hope the ageing hippy is satisfied with this victory coz he's got no hope of getting elected on his platform of "I really think we should do something, like, now Man. Wow, look at the crazy colours." unless his electorate also uses the same dealer.

Sources close to the National leadership are concerned that PAUL DYET, National Press Officer, has surrendered his responsibilities for issues relating to Scotland to one E. REILLY, controversially appointed as senior Officer for Scotland recently. Questions are being asked as to whether this is laziness or politics. As he has also apparently surrendered Parliamentary responsibility to the Research Department, certain unpalatable conclusions could be drawn.

Strange happenings again on the Industrial Relations front. EDDIE SPENCE, the ex-CPSA RED now sinecured at Falconcrest, has been transferred to the REVENUE GROUP. His existing post is not being filled, thereby denying staff a promotion opportunity. Was this discussed with the local APEX Fuhrer, who by sheer coincidence, is also called EDDIE SPENCE?