Camden Council’s proposed pay and conditions changes

As members may have seen on Essentials, a report from the Assistant Chief Executive is going to councillors at the Council’s Resources Scrutiny Committee (17th July) Cabinet (18th July) and Audit and Corporate Governance Committee (24th July) to get confirmation from the political leadership of the Council to the introduction of new terms and conditions for new starters from 1st October 2012 and the ‘voluntary’ sign-up of existing employees to new contracts (to take effect from 1st April 2013). The report and its main appendix can be seen online. The contracts will cover jobs other than schools staff and craft workers.

What are the key points of the new contracts?

The key points of the contracts that will affect everyone who signs up and all new starters are:

  • The introduction of a 36 hour normal working week
  • The introduction of performance-related pay
  • Reductions in overtime and premium payments
  • Stopping accrual of long service leave beyond the 2 days people get after 5 years

Jobs will be put into new ‘job families’ and there will be a divide between jobs classed as “Service Provider” (normally Scale 6 and below) and “Professional or Managerial” (normally SO1 or above).

For jobs on the Service Provider scale, staff may be held back an increment if they get a poor appraisal rating and may be able to move an increment above the maximum if they consistently get good appraisal ratings. The Service Provider scale will go up to Scale Point 25. The normal overtime rate for these workers will be cut to plain time plus 10%. The night shift payment will be plain time plus 23%.

For jobs in the Professional or Managerial scale, which covers roles from SCP25 to SM grades, the scale point structure would be eliminated and jobs would be put into ‘pay ranges’. To move up within their range and get a pay rise, staff would have to get either a 3, 4 or 5 in their appraisal ratings. Overtime payments are eliminated from staff on this scale.

Camden Unison held 4 meetings for members on these proposals and the meetings indicated that people did not want to move away from the current NJC scales and systems for setting our pay. The branch therefore opposes these proposals, which will create a ‘two-tier’ workforce and which we find divisive. We would urge councillors to reject the recommendations being put forward by management and to stick with the current set-up.

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