Friday, 16 October 2009


Plymouth City Council implemented Job Evaluation from the 1st October 2007. The fact that no-one got their results until Feb 2008, the ballot to accept wasn't until August 08 didn't matter, October 2007 was the date for backpay and grade changes. We got three years pay protection, so it wasn't too bad was it?
Except that it was. There were many appeals, my substantive (a word familiar to many in the union movement, but not neccessarily elsewhere) post was detrimentally affected - I didn't personally lose any money as I was only on the bottom "increment" of the pay scale (Local Government pay has several grades/scales with numerous 'spinal points' in each one), but several colleagues stood to lose a substantial amount of money.
Its ok, we said, we'll do a good appeal (and we had plenty of evidence), and we'll get back to where we should be. So several colleagues spent some time toiling on the appeal document. A year after it was submitted, we got our results back. Some factors had changed (we use the NJC scheme) but the grade was still the same. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth etc etc.
Now, if you'd believed the Council, that was it. No second bite of the cherry, as someone in authority said. But we didn't settle for that. UNISON and Unite lodged a collective grievance, GMB lodged individual ones but on essentially the same grounds. Now we were told that they wouldn't be treated as grievances, and we had all our arguments prepared for the hearings, and the tribunal paperwork had actually been submitted (and bounced back because collective grievances come under the "old" rules -d'oh) when things started moving. We were pleasantly surprised.
We were even more surprised when, this morning, letters arrived informing the affected staff that they had been upgraded. A quick phone call confirmed that, apparently, the backpay won't be an issue. Considering we were expecting a huge fight to just get the Council moving, we see this a huge victory. We are currently looking at pursuing similar claims in other areas.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

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