Leaving council worker says '**** off the lot of you' in farewell e-mail
A DISGRUNTLED council employee left an e-mail telling people to "**** off" after deciding to quit in protest at her mounting workload.
Jennifer Barkess said she was upset with Derby City Council after it turned down her voluntary redundancy application. But the clerk typist said the final straw came when she was asked to do the work of two other people who had been allowed to leave.
Ms Barkess, 64, decided she would resign but, before she left, sent out an e-mail to "the global address book".
She set up her out-of-office reply so it told people who responded: "No longer work for council, **** off the lot of you."
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It is understood thousands of people received the e-mail, both at the council and elsewhere.
Ms Barkess said she walked out on January 10, and, when she got home, sent another mass e-mail, calling one member of staff "a lump of canine excrement". The e-mail said: "I am told to do the work of people who have got VR, it ain't gonna happen."
Ms Barkess, who worked for the council for eight years, said she had since apologised to council chief executive Adam Wilkinson and regretted what she had done.
The authority had asked for people to apply for voluntary redundancy as part of plans to shed 350 full-time equivalent posts. It needs to save £62 million over three years.
A total of 206 people were approved to take voluntary redundancy and leave on or before December 31.
But Ms Barkess, of Spondon, who worked in the adults, health and housing department, said her application for voluntary redundancy was turned down in December because of "demands on the service".
She said: "I hadn't enjoyed it for a long time.
"I always intended to work until I was 65, which was in July, but it (the voluntary redundancy package) would have paid my wages to cover me so I could leave earlier."
She added: "They made two girls in another team redundant and told me to do the work they would have been doing if they hadn't taken VR."
Derbyshire police confirmed it had received a complaint about the e-mails and was investigating.
Karen Jewel, council director of human resources and business support, said of Mrs Barkess: "We can confirm that this individual is no longer in the employment of the council. Investigations into the matter are ongoing."
Council leader Paul Bayliss said it was difficult to accept voluntary redundancies in the adults, health and housing department.
He said: "In social care we haven't cut the budget. There's a requirement for people to deliver these services."