Nearly a week after the announcements, nearly a week to think things over, to talk though things with a few people, and read up on exactly what’s being proposed in detail. I’ve not actually been at work since the day of the announcement, so there may be a whole load of other stuff being spoken about at the office that I’ve yet to catch up, but for now here are my thoughts so far.
A message to all staff.
When the announcements were first made I guess I latched on to the thought that there would theoretically be opportunities to transfer to one of the remaining offices, and didn’t stop to actually do the sums. I’ll quote from the document we were all given after the announcements: “We will reduce our staff numbers by around 1500…”. Now let’s see; they’re closing five offices. Total staff in those offices? 1100. The reduction in the RA/RO grades is from 600 to 125. So that’s 475 staff. So 1575 posts disappearing, when the board want to lose 1500 staff. So in theory there might be around 75 posts available in other offices. In other words, there may well be chances to transfer, but they’ll be few and far between.
On Thursday afternoon I went to the first of our Area Manager’s meetings in which the proposals are gone through in more detail. A video message from the chief executive (rather brilliantly telling us all what a great place Land Registry will be in the future) and a slideshow full of figures detailing the criteria they used to choose which offices to close, followed by an opportunity to ask questions. We asked questions. One of the main things on everyone’s mind is the redundancy package, but they’re not able to give definitive calculations for anyone yet until the consultation period is over at the end of January. But the good news is that we will almost certainly benefit from the more generous terms of the current Civil Service Compensation Scheme rather than the new terms to be introduced. And, once the consultation period is over, people in the offices that are closing will immediately have access to the redundancy package, so an ideal scenario would be to find another job, and walk straight from Land Registry into something else with a hefty sum in the back pocket – quite possibly enough to pay off the mortgage in my case. (Mainly because we have a small mortgage.)
I don’t think anyone has any expectation that the proposals will change as a result of the consultation period, or at least not in any major way. We’re all working on the assumption that we’ve all just been told we are being made redundant. And most of the talk I’ve heard (online, because as I’ve said I’ve not been there to hear what’s going on) has been about career changes and finding something new. I’ve a few thoughts of my own, but this post has got too long now so I’ll just have to do another one tomorrow about what’s been going round my head so far…