126 health workers will not be able to hold onto an erroneous salary rise worth £750,000, after a collective appeal was rejected – but their pay will now be evaluated as a “priority.”
The Deputy Chair of the States Employment Board (SEB) – the panel responsible for setting government workers’ pay and terms and conditions – apologised for the “distress” caused to those affected, as the decision by a Disputes Panel was announced today.
The raft of pay upgrades to 126 Allied Health Professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational health staff and social workers, came in November 2017 following a review conducted by the Health Department.
Not announced publicly, the move, which was described by some as a “secret deal”, caused widespread unrest across the public sector, setting colleagues against each other and proving “disastrous for industrial relations and staff engagement.”
Pictured: The group that had received the erroneous pay rise were informed of the decision to reverse it in April this year.
Details of the tensions caused by the pay uplifts were revealed in an independent report released in December last year, which concluded that the “poor judgment” decision was “inappropriate” and should be undone.
Acting on the recommendation, the SEB announced on 1 April this year that the pay rises would be reversed.
In response, 90 of the group of 126 launched a collective grievance.
It was considered by a Disputes Panel on 29 May, but it ultimately concluded that the SEB should maintain its position, but continue to work on the issue of pay parity.
Responding to the decision this afternoon, government officials explained that affected employees will receive pay protection for the next three years.
Pictured: The SEB said it would be conducting a "priority" review of AHP roles following the Disputes Panel's decision.
During this period, the SEB said that their roles will be evaluated “as a matter of priority” to ensure their pay is fixed at a suitable level.
The evaluation process is yet to be determined, but the SEB said it would follow planning discussions involving the affected employees, wider groups and unions.
“We want to tackle pay and grading issues properly, but the way this matter was handled and implemented has not met the standards people should expect from their employer and we regret the impact this has had on those affected by it. The SEB would like to apologise for the distress this has caused,” SEB Deputy Chair Constable Richard Buchanan commented.
“We believe the Disputes Panel’s recommendations are fair and we are pleased to implement them. We would like to thank our staff for their valued and continued service during this time of uncertainty.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.