In a recent address to delegates at an annual union conference, Tony Butcher advised union members within the Insolvency Service to “be prepared for conflict.”
Butcher's comments are revealed in an internal news bulletin, published for Prospect members who work at the Insolvency Service, which reported on his speech.
It details the union’s concerns for staff during the voluntary exit scheme, in which up to 500 Insolvency Service employees could take voluntary redundancy.
The bulletin, leaked to insolvencynews.com, reveals that Butcher’s main concern is how senior management will decide to “move their chess pieces” following the exit scheme.
Butcher stressed that satisfactory policies already exist to ensure fairness, and that the problem is in their implementation.
The bulletin reports that Butcher said: “This is what causes most anger within the membership – how management deal with their problems.”
According to the bulletin, Butcher told union members that this wasn’t a top down approach but, below chief executive level, “senior management have a belief in their own good intentions and knowledge of individual circumstances which can lead to a loss of perspective.”
An Insolvency Service spokesperson said: “The Insolvency Service is going through a period of change resulting from a significant fall in its workload. We value our relationships with the agency trades unions and continue to fully engage with them on the issues facing the agency.”
The bulletin also states that Butcher informed delegates that they should go back to their constituents and prepare for some conflict, most likely local conflict, in the context that there will be pressures to move people around the organisation.
Butcher reportedly told delegates that the service was in danger of storing up ill will through badly handled change, at just the moment it needs staff goodwill.