Departing HR chief lobs brickbat at Unison

The HR director at Tower Hamlets has fired a parting shot at one of the east London council’s trade unions after leaving for a new job.

Cara Davani, who left last week after three years in the role, accused Unison – which represents more than 2,200 staff at the authority -of being obstructive and afraid of change.

“I’ve watched [union reps] say no to something before they even know what I’m proposing,” she said. “I find that very hard to deal with.

Relationships have been mixed and there have been changes and restructuring they’ve found difficult to stomach.”

Davani said the council had “excellent” relations with the GMB, its other trade union, but that Unison was more “militant”.

Earlier this month, Unison members went on strike over changes to the council’s sickness absence procedures.

The union accused management of “bullying” staff by introducing a call centre that sick staff must notify when they are absent. But Davani said the union only objected after a decision was made to outsource the role to specialist firm FirstAssist.

John McLoughlin, Unison branch chairman, hit back, claiming it had been “very difficult” working with Davani. “The corporate management team have their own agenda to see change through rather than any genuine consultation,” he said.


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