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SINGLE STATUS ĖUpdate

Most people have now completed the Job Evaluation process, but some of these are still awaiting the result of their appeal.As of last month there were still 243 staff who hadnít been evaluated yet.†† This number will by now have reduced.

 

Signing Days for non-schools staff have been held in December and March for people to be given their cheques for back pay.A further Signing Day was due to be held on 4th April but this was postponed until 18th April.It has now been postponed again because of a failure by some Departments to provide essential information about the staff concerned.It is now planned to take place in May.For schools staff, a separate Signing Day is also planned for May.†††††

 

Where people have been downgraded, they havenít received the 2007 Pay Award, as they were on ďmark-timeĒ protection for one year until 31st March 2008.Those who are still awaiting an appeal against downgrading, or who havenít yet been evaluated, have also not received the Pay Award, although they will do so if the eventual outcome of their evaluation is not a downgrading.

 

Itís not surprising that some people are extremely unhappy about the outcome for them of the Single Status process.No-one is going to feel that a downgrading is justified, and when this also entails not receiving the pay award and a protection period of only one year then itís even more galling.We requested that the Council reconsider their position on protection, given that there has been a Tribunal ruling that 3 years protection is valid.They responded to us on 5th February, pointing out that there had been a previous ruling that conflicted with this.As both rulings were by Tribunals, one doesnít take precedence over another.The issue has now been referred to the Court of Appeal for a definitive ruling.Itís been made clear to us that if the decision goes our way then Croydon wouldnít be able to extend protection without finding the money from somewhere else in the Single Status package.

 

Weíve had lengthy discussions recently about the way in which people who have been upgraded were to receive their back pay for 2007/8.We protested vigorously about the Councilís intention to make this payment in April, and all three Trade Unions submitted a Grievance because there were potentially adverse implications for some people as regards tax and benefits.

 

A proposal was then put to us that the Council could make an estimate of the amount owed to staff which could be paid in March.  An accurate figure could then be calculated in April (payroll deadlines didnít allow the accurate figure to be included in the March pay round).This seemed to have some logic to it, given that it could avoid most if not all of the tax problems for staff of the back pay being paid in the next financial year (2008-09).

 

However, we were then informed that they only wanted to pay 60% of the estimated amount, in order to avoid any overpayment (which by the Single Status Agreement they canít claw back).  We rejected this as being unacceptable.

 

Pam Parkes then came back to us on 11th March with a proposal of paying 70%.  We again said that this was unacceptable, but given that it was made clear that there was no further offer on the table (because the March payroll was about to be run) I suggested that they should go ahead with a payment of 70% of back pay, and that we would consult members to see if this was regarded as acceptable.

 

I personally did not feel that this arrangement in any way met our expectation, and that we should carry on with our Grievance about the delay in payment. I was of this opinion in the belief that the 70% payment would apply to all staff.  I was therefore flabbergasted to hear that it would only apply to those staff who had no ďextrasĒ over and above basic pay.I could not understand how they could justify paying anything less than 100% of back pay for these staff as there was no possibility of overpayment as far as I could see.  However, Pam Parkes then explained that they wanted to pay only 70% in case of mistakes!

 

The outcome of the consultation with our members was that 98% of those who responded felt that the situation was unacceptable and that we should move to Stage 2 of the Grievance Procedure.This will be submitted by all three Trade Unions after we have received a full written response to Stage 1, which Pam Parkes has promised we will have by Friday 11th April.

 

The Council will now be moving people on to their new grades in April.The outstanding payments due to staff will be paid in May or June.

 

Ongoing Consultation

 

We continue to meet with the Single Status Project Team every Tuesday morning, and itís worth noting that we have made progress on certain issues.These include:

 

         Honoraria paid to Care Assistants will not be deducted from their back pay

         Where Contractual Overtime was actually worked, this payment will not be deducted from back pay

         Staff who were seconded since April 2001 to a post that has been upgraded will receive back pay for the time they spent in that post.They will also receive back pay for the time spent in their substantive post if that too has been upgraded

 

We are still contesting the Councilís stance regarding back pay for those staff who were on Career Grades and who have been moved on to a single grade, and those whose old grade overlapped with the new grade.We will update members in due course regarding the outcome of these discussions.

 

Back Pay

 

Letters will be sent out from HR to all those who have been upgraded but have not yet received their back pay.They will be asked to contact HR and book a time to attend to receive their back pay.They will have to sign a COT3 agreement, whereby they give up their right to make further Equal Pay claims.Trade Union Reps and ACAS will be in attendance at the Signing Days to deal with any queries.

 

If you are leaving, or changing jobs within the Council, you should ensure that you let us know - This is so we can advise you on what steps you need to take to safeguard any back pay you may be owed following the implementation of Single Status

JOB EVALUATIONS Ė APPEALS

The vast majority of jobs have now been evaluated but there are still some to be completed.If you have had your job evaluated and you are not happy with the outcome you should appeal.

 

How do you appeal?

 

Step 1

 

On receipt of your letter from HR you have 28 days to appeal.Your letter should contain your scores however if not you will need to ask for a copy.You should request this from the Single Status Team on:

 

Helpdesk: 0208 667 8388

Email: single.status@croydon.gov.uk

Address to write to: Single Status, 8th Floor, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 3JS

 

Step 2

 

You need an appeal form which is on the intranet (hidden deeply within the Single status information) or from our website here.You will also need a copy of the conventions, also obtainable from the intranet or from our website.

 

Step 3

 

You will need to identify the areas you wish to challenge (i.e. the area in which you feel you should have scored higher) and write down why you feel you should have scored more.

 

Step 4

 

You should complete the Appeal Form (please bear in mind that your line manager is required to sign this) and a covering letter and submit it to the Single Status Team.You may wish to deliver this in person to the address above.If you require assistance to complete the form you should contact your local Steward (details can be found on our Branch Directory).If you donít have a local Steward then you should contact your Departmental Convenor (details below).

 

Once your letter has been submitted an Appeals Panel will be convened to consider your submission.Contrary to our initial expectations you wonít be automatically invited to this meeting although you may be requested to attend if the panel require clarification.You will then be informed of the decision.

 

Contacts Ė Departmental Convenors

 

If you require any further information please call your departmental lead:

 

Anna Raghunanan

ECPP

xtn 61115

Iteen Stephens

Finance & Resources

xtn 88336

Eleanor Tracey

Social Services

xtn 62167

James Young

Housing

xtn 62673

Malcolm Campbell

Policy & Corporate Services

xtn 65435

Laurie Pocock

Planning & Transportation

xtn 62648

Mervyn DíCruze

CYPL (Education)

xtn 65435

 

Or the Branch Office on 8760 5435 or 65435 at Taberner House.

 

 

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