ONE in 10 social services workers in Wirral is in dispute with the council, according to new figures.
The department of adult social services (DASS) has the highest total across the authority, and accounts for half of all cases where staff are absent and “formal action has been taken or is being considered”.
A report collating all "employee relations" cases in the authority said: "Adult Social Services have the largest number of live cases of all categories (75) which represents 10% of that department."
However, it also said that although no data is available to compare Wirral to other councils, grievance and disciplinary cases are higher in the borough compared to other public sector organisations, based on a national survey.
The report on "Employee Relations Performance" said 75 DASS employees are currently involved in disciplinary, grievance, absence or employment tribunal disputes with the authority.
The Children and Young People Department has 60 cases (3%), Finance has 11 cases (0.9%), Regeneration, Housing and Planning have two cases (less than 1%) and Law, HR and Asset Management has 10 live cases (less than 1%). Technical Services has 31 cases, which is 4%.
DASS had come under fire after whistleblower Martin Morton highlighted financial abuse of people with disabilities.
Mr Morton was subsequently forced out of his job, but an in-depth report later vindicated his claims leading to the council paying back almost £700,000. It also brought to light major problems with how the council had been run and managed. A second report into bullying highlighted serious issues within the department.
Graham Hodkinson, director of adult social services, said: "The figures quoted actually include 63 cases where our managers are proactively supporting individuals in relation to absence management, or poor health. The other 12 relate to disciplinary and grievance cases.
‘‘These numbers are comparatively low for such a large department and reflect the positive work that has been undertaken to improve performance and ensure that issues are dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.”