UNIONS LODGE DISPUTE OVER AP REGRADING

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Napo, UNISON and GMB/SCOOP have lodged a dispute with NPS over its refusal to backdate the regrading of the AP residential worker from band 2 to band 3.

Back in early 2020 the NPS and unions reviewed the APRW job description as part of the agreement to look again at the E3 jobs which were downgraded in 2016/17 as part of E3. We spent a lot of time and effort gathering information from AP members to submit to the job evaluation (JE) review, much of it collected over the last few years. We were delighted when in July 2020 the evaluation panel regraded the APRW role from a band 2 to a band 3. 

The delay in implementing this regrade has been caused by long drawn out negotiations between the unions and NPS over the date from which the regrade would actually take effect. The NPS originally proposed that they would only pay the regrade from October 2020 – three months later than the meeting of the job evaluation panel which agreed the regrade in July of last year.

REASONS FOR THE DISPUTE

The unions rejected payment of the regrade from October 2020 and are pushing for backdating of the regrade for the following reasons:

1. The NPS Job Evaluation Scheme requires regrading to be backdated to the time that the relevant changes occurred to the job description under review

2. NPS failed to document the dates that the APRW job description changed from 2016, which is required under the NPS JE scheme

3. But, the changes to the APRW job description that led to the regrade happened from 2016 and certainly well before the job evaluation panel reviewed the job in July 2020.

4. The NPS now claims that the APRW JE review had nothing to do with the E3 JE reviews and that it was an entirely new process triggered by new work like administering naloxone and recruitment and retention difficulties. The unions dispute this. The difficulties in attracting and retaining staff in APs started as far back in 2016 when NPS downgraded the APRW job!

Having lodged a formal dispute on these matters, the unions are now waiting for a dispute hearing to be scheduled. More news on this and other AP pay issues will follow as as soon as it becomes available