Haringey PR cuts spark NUJ outcry

Haringey Council’s PR department lay in tatters this week after seven comms staff who snubbed plans for a proposed shake-up were made redundant.

The council has been locked in a spat between eight members of its comms department since it informed them of its intentions to streamline the department (PRWeek, 13 February).

All but one of the media relations, PR and internal comms staff involved have been subsequently axed.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear branded Haringey’s communications department restructure as ‘disgraceful’.

Haringey Council seconded in PR consultancy Marina Pirotta Communications, which advised the positions should be cut from eight to five and upgraded. But the team refused to co-operate.

Tensions ran so high at the council offices last week that the entire communications department was shut for a day and workers were unable to get to their desks.

Dear said: ‘Haringey Council has completely reneged on its responsibilities to its staff. It is a disgrace that any employer, let alone a council, should treat its employees in such a shameful way.’

A spokesman for Marina Pirotta said the process was carried out in line with the council’s personnel procedures.

Haringey corporate communications manager Nicky Hulford and one other PRO along with four agency staff are manning the media office until replacements are hired.

The NUJ was still balloting for industrial action as PRWeek went to press.

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