Not helped by councils being in yet another budget crisis and the Audit Commission saying that there should be pay freezes to help the economy as this would "be painless." What a comfort to those cleaners, library assistants and housing benefits clerks who aren't being paid all that much more than the minimum wage to begin with. When the good time roll, of course, public sector workers are told that they can't have pay rises because they've got job security (true enough: in my quarter of a century in the public sector I've only been made redundant four times) and when the bad times come they're told that they can't have pay rises because it would hurt the economy. Regardless of the fact that in small towns like Helminthdale most of the economic activity is driven by the spending power of the council employees. Meanwhile, the wankers in the city who caused the crash in the first place are being paid humongous bonuses to clean up their own mess. What a world...
Ken's appeal process sounds right in the peculiar way that the Pay & Grading processes seem to be working, which is to say: like the game show you are engineered never to be able to win.
"We're given fifteen minutes in which to present the argument for not getting a pay cut without hesitation, repetition or deviation from the subject."
Interestingly enough, although all of their staff have been told that they do not require advocacy skills, and so cannot claim value points for this, they are being required to put together and deliver the argument against pay cuts in presentations to a panel including the head of service and someone from the Borough Solicitor's section. Ken's argument that he must have specialist knowledge as he's the only person in the Borough who knows how all the library systems work was queried on the basis that he's not a member of senior management team and so couldn't have specialist knowledge. Council personnel sections have their own dictionaries.