Service cuts insensitiveSenior Public Servants in the United Kingdom have been branded “insensitive and crass” after they were accused of using a party hats game to identify jobs and service cuts.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said Department for Education (DfE) officials were encouraged to wear party hats while discussing the future of their services.
The accusations come after a newspaper, The Northern Echo, obtained an internal blog which revealed senior figures, including the director of finance and commercial, had put hats on their heads during a directors’ meeting.
The newspaper said they were only allowed to remove them when they revealed the services they would cut to save money.
The PCS said the Department had told them the meeting in question had covered service improvements and not sensitive issues such as job losses.
Secretary of the PCS’ education group, Kathy Prendiville said the behaviour of staff was “highly insensitive and crass”, and the incident represented “a serious error of judgement”.
“It is hard to understand how a group of senior civil servants could consider it appropriate,” Ms Prendiville said.
The union’s comments come after hundreds of workers staged a protest last month in opposition to plans that would see services and staff relocated.
Darlington, 17 January 2013
Edition 346, 29 January 2013