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personal - Job evaluation
The Job Evaluation Fiasco
On 10th November 2006 the employees of Staffordshire County Council received a letter informing them of their new proposed salary. Some, like myself, found out that they had received notification of a proposed drop in pay. It was a shock! Yes, there had been meetings to inform employees that a percentage of the work-force would have a reduction in pay. However the fact that a reduction took place and the extent of the pay cut left many feeling demoralised, angry and extremely undervalued.
Attempts to placate us with wishy-washy statements of 'These are only proposals' has done nothing to alleviate the total mistrust and disgust that has now manifested itself within the authority. So how did we come to this point? The starting point can be summed up in two words. Single Status
Single status is the government's attempt to harmonise pay and conditions across a local authority for comparable posts.
At the heart of this is the concept of equal pay. In simple terms it means treating manual workers equally to white-collar staff for doing work which although
different in nature is equal in value. But in order to implement single status by the required date of 2007, it was important to have some system in
place for comparing one job with another across the authority. Thus we had the introduction of Job Evaluation.
Two job evaluation schemes were used to evaluate jobs. NJC scheme (National Joint Council) - to evaluate front line staff and the HAY scheme, to evaluate strategic, specialist and technical management type posts. Meetings were convened to enable staff - or representative numbers from teams of staff - to go through the evaluation process.
Further meetings were held to 'brief' us on the process and the outcome of job evaluation prior to receiving our letters informing us of the implication for use as individuals. We were informed that, amongst other things:
- 45% of staff would receive an increase in pay - these staff, although entitled to 6 years back pay, would be offered 3.
- 30% of staff would stay the same; &
- 25% would have a reduction in pay, with the following protections in place
- 100% pay protection for the first year
- 90% pay protection for the second year
- 80% pay protection for the third year
Then we received our letters on the 10th November 2006, followed by a corporate letter which reads as follows:
Job Evaluation - Important Information
As you will be aware, individual letters will be distributed by 10 November 2006. It is very important that you read these notes before opening your letter.
Your letter is not telling you anything that has been finally agreed yet about your pay. These are still proposals.
- No new pay structure has yet been agreed by the County Council. This will not take place until after consultation with you, further negotiations with Trade Unions and further reflection by officers and Councillors. The final decision on the pay structure will be made in January 2007 by the group of Councillors who make up the County Council's Cabinet.
- This process is part of the aim to achieve a fair and transparent system of paying staff that rewards equal work with equal pay.
- It is our aim is to comply with equal pay legislation and the national Single Status Agreement.
- Your letter is part of the consultation process.
- It lets you know what would happen to your pay in the future if this proposed pay structure were to be adopted. This will enable you to make an informed judgment of the overall proposals.
- The final pay structure may have significant differences and may mean very different outcomes for you.
- The pay structure does not include any market supplements that may be considered and used in the future for specific jobs.
- There is an appeals process and you may appeal if your role has substantially changed from the original evaluation.
- When a final structure is agreed it will mean that some staff in the County Council will have higher salaries, some will have similar salaries and some will have lower salaries for their current post. For those staff where the structure will mean a lower salary it must be remembered the proposal is that there will be no reduction in pay at all until July 2008. There will be 90% protection until 2009 and 80% protection until 2010 (this may differ if you are already on pay protection). Pensions will be heavily protected in this process as well.
Please take the opportunity to respond to the consultation to help the County Council achieve the best possible and fairest pay structure.
DEVALUED - BUT NEVER MIND EH!
I cannot begin to tell you the sense of disillusionment, anger and total disgust I feel at having my salary reduced. And I am not alone. There
has been anger directed at those who are seen to be the architects of the pay loss that many have suffered. The loss has been significantly greater
for some than my 2.5K loss.
Quite simply, I have been devalued. The consequence? This organisation has lost my goodwill!
WHY THE HELL ARE WE PAYING BACK PAY?
I confess that this is a question that I was asking and asking and not receiving an adequate response. The answer relates to a 1970's
piece of legislation apparently:
The Equal Pay Act 1970 allows an employee who is paid less than a comparator of the opposite sex to claim equal pay on the basis that they are performing:
- the same work
- work of equal value
- work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation scheme
An employment tribunal claim must be brought whilst employed by the relevant employer or within six months of the end of the applicant’s employment. If an applicant is successful in securing equal pay, back-pay of up to six years may also be awarded by the tribunal.
FEEDBACK ON JOB EVALUATION
As of 04 December 2006, 8,500 feedback forms had been received. Of these:
- 75% responded "No" to the proposed pay structure;
- 70% responded "No" to the proposed pay protection package;
- 66% responded "No" to the backpay proposals.
I've sent in my own response today (13/12/06). You don't need three guesses where my votes went!
JOB EVALUATION UPDATE - 17th January 2007
Job Evaluation was today discussed at Cabinet.
Cabinet Members once again reasserted their determination to implement a new pay structure for employees which must:
- Deliver equal and fair pay as required by the Equal Pay Act;
- Meet our obligations under the 1997 Single Status Agreement between local authorities and the trade unions;
- Support the ongoing performance and viability of our services, through the ability to effectively recruit and retain appropriate staff and;
- Be affordable within the county council's overall financial constraints.
Following consideration of the outcome of the consultation, Cabinet felt however it was not possible to implement a package
of pay proposals that did not have the support of the majority of staff (overall 72.6% of employees who responded did not agree
with taking the proposals forward) and that did not have agreement with the three Green Book Trade Unions.
In summary, the main outcome of the meeting is that Cabinet has decided not to proceed with implementing the proposed pay structure that has been consulted on with employees since October 2006.
Cabinet once again expressed their appreciation for the way employees continued to deliver on services in the same professional manner during such a difficult period. I would like to endorse that sentiment completely.
Negotiations will now continue with the trade unions with a desire to reach a collective agreement if possible and within a realistic timescale.
Additionally, further pay modelling work will now be undertaken to identify a range of options to make sure we meet our objectives (as set out above) and which specially address the main issues raised in the consultation process, particularly around those around the points to pay relationship and salary levels. Alongside this, all financial implications of the options modelled will be investigated to show ongoing and one-off costs, and how they might be financed. This work will be developed with the involvement, if possible, of the trade unions.
Within the pay modelling work, Cabinet agreed that the features which will be retained from the October pay proposals are that it:
- supports how the organisation is structured now and in the future to ensure effective service delivery
- is operationally viable
- provides consistent terms and conditions
- supports performance management at all levels including a contribution based pay scheme of progression
- works with the trade unions (as set out above) and achieves a structure that adheres to all the objectives (as set out above)
Cabinet has asked that a further report looking at all the above comes to its meeting in March - they have also
asked that the report identifies a target date for implementation during the second half of 2007.
Alongside this activity, the job evaluation team will be continuing to seek to resolve all anomalies identified to them during the consultation process, working closely with local managers and management teams to do this. Additionally, Cabinet asked that local managers ensure that the fundamentals of up-to-date job descriptions and job titles, job evaluations and organisational structures are in place for all staff and fully up-to-date in SAP.
We will of course keep you updated as things develop. Thank you to everyone who has fed back their views during the consultation process. This feedback proved invaluable to helping Cabinet make their decision.
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO OUR PETITION - 26th February 2007
Well it seems all those that signed the petition against job evaluation got a response. I certainly got my email with a link to the fuller response. As the email contains all the pseudo-legalise at the bottom of it relating to not regurgitating the email without permission, on pain of death... or worse (possibly going through another JE balls-up of a process), I have decided not to publish the email, which in retrospect was a mistake as the information originally linked to on this site, no longer exists.
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