No role for private consultants in Job Evaluation

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2018 Health Care Service Group Conference
27 November 2017
Carried as Amended

Bucks Health Care & Community has recognised that there is an inequality in pay banding across the NHS. Many NHS workers are doing similar roles in trusts for different pay; these differences can even be in neighbouring NHS Trusts. The inequality in pay banding becomes more apparent when the job role does not fit the national job profile or a new post has been created.

With the introduction of Agenda for Change in 2004 a matrix was put in place so job roles were evaluated through a standard process. This process took into account what the staff member did and the responsibility of their role. Previously pay was decided by General Whitley Council, and more than 20 individual joint committees and subcommittees for the different occupational groups; each with responsibility for its own grading and pay structures as well as terms and conditions of employment.

Agenda for Change banding was introduced in an attempt to bridge the gap in pay inequality and ensure that there was a rate for the job with the creation of national profiles. However to respond to external labour markets and severe recruitment and retention problems we are seeing Trusts deviating from agreed profiles and in some instances employing outside consultancies to evaluate and match posts. We have found that even in high cost areas like Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire local NHS trusts are at variance banding staff doing the same job role up to two bands lower.

In the South East trusts all have major recruitment and retention issues of up to 18 percent vacancies. These vacancies are only exacerbating the impact it has on staff and how they feel valued especially if they know people doing a similar role are being paid more. The pressure of austerity and cuts is also been seen through the banding process as our Branch is aware that there are a growing number of trusts using external companies to perform this role,. This not only goes against any partnership working but is also a possible conflict of interest as the Trust can dictate what they wish to pay, as the company is unlikely to bite the hand that feeds it.

Conference asks that the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)Undertake an Freedom of information request to ask Trusts in England if they use a private consultancy firm to undertake job evaluation and whether this was done in agreement with staffside unions or not, to understand how many and why they might be used when it goes against any partnership agreements with the unions;

2)Develop a campaign guide for branches where job evaluation has been outsourced to bring it back in house;

3)Work with those branches who wish to organise a campaign where there are private consultants involved, to bring back job evaluation in house.