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“Priority” review of £750k pay blunder workers’ roles

“Priority” review of £750k pay blunder workers’ roles

Tuesday 18 June 2019

“Priority” review of £750k pay blunder workers’ roles


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.”

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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.

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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.”

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Posted by Major Misunderstanding on
The disputes panel concluded that affected employees should receive pay protection for three years, meaning that the total cost of this debacle would be around £2.6000,000 for the employer - a lot more than the £750,000 originally stated. This is taxpayer's money - who is responsible for this?
How is the SEB 'maintain[ing] its position', when they originally said that the pay uplift would be reversed on 01 April 2019 and pay protection is now continuing until 2022? Nearly £3 million of taxpayer's money - the SEB are not fit for purpose.
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