The mayor, his deputy and THIRTEEN assistants… how Salford’s new leader has failed to cut the cost of running the city with officers for ‘international relations’ and ‘humanegment’
- Roles include international relations, technology and ‘humanegement’, a word he invented to refer to human resources
- Ian Stewart defended the appointments as a ‘sensible and justifiable’ move that would cost no extra
They tend to call a spade a spade up North. But in Salford, someone’s letting the side down.
Residents are perplexed by bizarre and unorthodox jobs that have suddenly cropped up on the local council – courtesy of the city’s first elected mayor.
Among the roles for Ian Stewart’s 13 (yes, 13) assistant mayors is one of workplace reform and ‘humanegement’.
Top team: Mayor Ian Stewart (bottom row centre), with his 13 assistants – including one for ‘humanegement’ Criticism: Ian Stewart has appointed a deputy and 13 assistant mayors – including two who are also strategic assistants
The word was invented by Mr Stewart – the former Labour MP for Eccles – as a more ethical term for human resources. During research into the labour market, he decided existing references made workers sound like commodities.
He said: ‘Humanegement is a word I have created to describe human engagement with staff. It is an alternative to the term human resources, which I feel makes employees sound like commodities.
‘I therefore prefer to use this term as effective working with staff is about engagement, working with them to get the best possible outcomes.
‘I said we should have a more civilised approach and what we needed to develop was a humane management system. That is why it’s spelt with an “e” – it is a humane system.’
The mayor’s explanation of the role left some residents fuming yesterday and accusing him of turning the city into a ‘laughing stock’. Salford city centre: Mr Stewart, former MP for Eccles, was elected Salford’s first mayor on May 3
Phil Reid, 38, a builder, said: ‘Oh spare us the management speak – when politicians talk this way voters are just turned off. We have a reputation for plain-talking in Salford but obviously the new mayor hasn’t quite grasped it. What an absolute joke.’
Janet Edwards, a teacher, said: ‘I’d like to see him knocking on voters’ doors in downtown Salford and trying to explain humanegement.’
Among the other responsibilities for the assistant mayors are international relations, technology, culture, communications and transport within the city region.
JOB TITLES ACCORDING TO MAYOR STEWART
Among the more unorthodox job titles in Salford’s new leadership team is the assistant mayor for workplace reform and ‘humanegement’.
The word – pronounced ‘hu-management’ – was invented by Ian Stewart more than 20 years ago as a more ethical term for human resources.
During research into the labour market he decided existing terms made workers sound like commodities.
He said: ‘I said we should have a more civilised approach and what we needed to develop was a humane management system.
‘That is why it’s spelt with an ‘e’ – it is a humane system.’
Humanegement is one of around half a dozen words and phrases invented by Mr Stewart, who has the rights to their use.
They include ‘co-opetition’ (a mix of co-operation and competition), and ‘matters in Salford’, which he intends to use in the future as part of the city’s branding.
She said: ‘I wouldn’t have that many. I would deal with what’s important. What’s important about international relations? The mayor can do that. He should be dealing with those things, representing the city in China and so on.’
Under the previous system Salford’s council leader was supported by a 17-strong cabinet, drawing allowances of between £6,000 and £14,600. The new assistant mayors will get allowances of between £9,000 and £14,600, with the overall cost being approximately the same.
Mr Stewart – who was elected on May 3 – said all positions would be continually reviewed to ensure they were working properly. He added: ‘What we have done is tried to make sure a sensible approach at equal or lower cost has taken place. We have done that quite deliberately, with an eye to the interests of the people of Salford and their families.’
He said priorities included boosting digital access, attracting international investment into Salford and reconnecting with the community.
Humanegement is one of around half a dozen words and phrases invented by Mr Stewart. They include ‘co-opetition’ (a mix of co-operation and competition), and ‘matters in Salford’, which he intends to use in the future as part of the city’s branding.
Mr Stewart, who was a Labour MP for 13 years, admits his made-up terms raise a few laughs, but says that is part of the point.
He added: ‘I’m quite happy for words to cause hilarity because it captures people’s attention. It makes people laugh but it also helps capture the dilemma between different concepts.’
Councillor Paul Dennett, who has been made assistant mayor for humanegement, admitted some found the term puzzling.
He said: ‘The word is not in the Oxford dictionary, so I guess there is no