UNISON representatives and colleagues representing other unions in LPFT met as a staff side in November to consider the draft new handbook on provisions for pay progression. The 2018 Framework Agreement on the reform of Agenda for Change introduced provisions for a new pay system with faster progression to the top of pay bands through fewer pay-step points.
The agreement contained a commitment to introduce a new system for pay progression linked to a set of core national standards. This comes into effect for new starters from April 2019 and from April 2021 for staff already in post prior to that date.
Staff side discussed all aspects of the proposed addition to the handbook that will deal with pay progression in preparation for its final sign off. Views on this are important as unions will need to work with Trusts to ensure the system is applied fairly and consistently.
Creating arrangements that best suit the needs of a Trust and its staff are clearly important. To help achieve this, within the annex to the handbook there are number of actions that employers will need to consider before any pay step. Staff side in LPFT have collated and returned their views in preparation for the final draft.
Among a few items unions were keen to see reflected in the handbook were:
- That it was ensured local policy and procedures put an onus on management to complete staff appraisal and if possible seek exemption for staff if an appraisal is incomplete and the management system is to blame
- An observance of spikes in disciplinary and capability processes where the employer may be seeking to avoid pay step by implementing these procedures
- What are the organisational values and behaviours and how are they measured objectively
The Framework Agreement has now been received by UNISON and reps across Lincolnshire will be working with the Trust to devise a local implementation strategy.