Programme Facilitators Job Evaluation Appeal

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The joint Trade Union JES appeal for programme facilitators has now been announced. The outcome of the appeal was Band 3.

The panel consisted of 3 panel representatives, one of which is a trade union representative. Napo know that members will be very disappointed in this result and will have a lot of questions on what happens next. This communication sets out the trade unions (Napo and Unison) current position, our concerns as well as next steps. There are a couple of significant issues that all three unions have raised with the employer about the result.

  1. The initial rationale sent to the unions had been added up incorrectly. The panel had sent out a score of 466 when in fact the true total is 479. This is 1 point off a Band 4 result. We raised this with the employer and the score sheet has now been corrected.
  2. The unions have also queried the last section of the scoring: Working Conditions. The original panel had scored this at a 2 (weighted score of 20). However, the appeal panel has reduced this to a level 1 (weighted score of 10). This reduction in scoring has brought the overall total to a Band 3.The trade unions have questioned this as in our view the rationale given for this scoring is in fact a level 2. The unions also thought that a score of level 1 was not a true reflection of the working conditions that members in programmes work in. There does not appear to have been any consideration for working unsociable hours, handling difficult situations in groups and the requirement for programme facilitators to travel significant distances on a regular basis in order to cover programme delivery. A level 1 score would be more in line with non-front facing positions for staff that have no direct contact with clients.  The employer, whilst sympathetic to our concerns, has said that they cannot challenge the panel decision as that would be outside of the Job Evaluation process. The Job Evaluation Scheme is jointly owned by the employer and the trade unions and whilst we agree that the process (which is an important part of our collective bargaining arrangements) shouldn’t be undermined, it does raise questions going forward about how the scheme is operated by the employer. The trade unions will be working with the employer to have a deep dive into the process, and we are currently engaging on a refresh of the NNC guidance which sits behind the Job Evaluation Scheme to provide greater clarity on the application of the process.

What happens next?

The employer received 27 individual appeals as well as the joint appeal. As agreed, the Job Evaluation Team will now set up the panel to hear the remaining appeals over the next few weeks. It is difficult to say how long this process will take as we have previously agreed that should an appeal come out at a Band 4 no more appeals will be heard. However, if all 27 appeals need to be heard it is likely that we won’t have a final outcome until early May. This is due to the time it takes to arrange the panel and to allow them adequate time to hear that appeal in full. Members who have submitted an individual appeal will be given the opportunity to address the panel in person as will the subject matter expert. Once we have dates for the individual appeals we will update members along with any future outcomes. Napo, along with our sister union, Unison, have been challenging these “reforms” for 3 years now and we will continue to fight the employers approach to de-professionalising and devaluing our members.

 In the meantime, we welcome your feedback on this important issue and if you have any questions please contact – Carole Doherty National Vice Chair: and Tania Bassett National Official: