Radio Sandwell Local News

Birmingham City Council accused of racism over job losses

2013-02-03 18:51:18

Birmingham City Council has been accused of racism after five white managers kept their posts following a review - while six ethnic minority colleagues were made redundant.

The 11 staff worked across the city, leading teams in Neighbourhood Offices - now called Customer Service Centres - when a shake-up was announced and they were told that six jobs would be axed in 2011.

The cash-strapped local authority is hoping to save a whopping £600 million by 2017 following huge cuts in Government funding.

All 11 managers - five white, three Asian and three Afro-Caribbean - went through a selection process.

And all five white workers successfully kept their jobs.

The six non-white who lost theirs were furious.

They appealed the decision, prompting an internal investigation by council bosses which later ruled that the process had been fair.

Now, the six who were made redundant have taken the council to an employment tribunal which is due to complete next month.

One of the six managers, who did not wish to be named, said: "I felt let down by Birmingham City Council at every stage.

"We didn't receive any support or feel that our race complaint was taken seriously by them.

"The whole process left me totally demotivated.

"My concern is that if this can happen in a multicultural city like Birmingham, it can happen anywhere. How many other ethnic minority staff have suffered in silence?"

A second, who also did not want to be named, added: "I was shocked that an organisation which speaks so much about equality and diversity can behave in such manner.

"So much for employee care."

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said the six staff had subsequently been found other jobs at the council.

He said the council stood by its procedures and confirmed that it was contesting the employment tribunal.

"The allegations made by the claimants are disputed in their entirety and do not necessarily reflect the full version of events," said the spokesman.

"The city council has taken the allegations very seriously and the findings of a thorough internal investigation and an independent appeals process found no evidence to support the allegation of race discrimination.

He added that it would not be appropriate to comment further until the tribunal was finished.

The spokesman said: "The city council does not wish to prejudice that process by making any further comment at this stage, other than to say that this has been a complex and challenging matter with the need to balance the rights and responsibilities of all parties.

"All the claimants remain employees of the council."

The case's final hearing is set for March 1.

This latest employment tribunal comes just months after the council was landed with a potentially enormous compensation bill when it lost a case against 174 former council workers.

The staff - known as the Abdulla Group - were mainly women who worked in traditionally female roles such as cleaners or carers.

They successfully claimed they were paid less than men doing equivalent jobs and told they were entitled to compensation which would reach thousands of pounds for many.

Around 1,000 other workers could also make similar claims, meaning Birmingham City Council could pay out as much as £757 million.

Share this story

Related Stories

Local news around the web

'Substance' sprayed at taxi driver at Birmingham station

This is the 'best pasta sauce in the world' - and it has only three simple ingredients

Alleged hammer attack at shopping centre

Thousands expected to bid farewell to Birmingham's 'King of Scoops'

Two men injured in shooting

Man suffers head injuries in horrific machete attack in Wednesbury

Sawn-off shotguns hidden under stairs

Narcos, Birmingham - review

Terrified shoppers flee Merry Hill shopping centre after alleged hammer attack in food court

Hit and run victim was in vintage car

Image Slider