The National Joint Council (NJC) Scheme was chosen when the Job Evaluation process commenced back in 1999.
Some concerns were reported during the benchmarking process that the NJC Scheme scored certain groups of posts poorly, i.e. Corporate posts, Middle management and Technical specialists.
However, at the time, it was the only scheme considered by the Unions to be acceptable for evaluating posts across the whole of the Authority. Other schemes such as Inbucon and Hay were considered to work well on certain groups of staff but not for a wide range of jobs as is required for this project.
As the project progressed it became increasingly clear that there would be some fairly major disruption to the existing hierarchy within the Authority. The results of this would include:
_ Substantial drops in grade for some staff.
_ Corresponding large drops in salary for some staff.
_ Major disruption to current structures with some "flattening" off of structures and some instances of staff being graded higher than their current managers.
_ Substantial increases in grade for other staff.
_ Corresponding large rises in salary for some staff.
Both the Authority and the Union representatives felt that the extent of the disruption and, in particular, the huge potential losses for some staff, seen mainly at the middle - higher end of the existing hierarchy, was unacceptable.
This type of result is reflected throughout many other Authorities in Wales who, like Carmarthenshire, started off by using the NJC scheme but have now decided to adopt the Greater London Provincial Council (GLPC) scheme.
In conjunction with the Union representatives we have looked at alternatives to the NJC scheme and, having carried out some trial results, agree that the GLPC scheme is the best way forward for the Authority for the following reasons:
_ More even spread of results, throughout the entire range of jobs.
_ This is borne out by authorities such as The Vale of Glamorgan, City and County of Swansea and Pembrokeshire County Council who have all used the GLPC Scheme and have produced acceptable results.
_ GLPC Scheme now being used by all of the authorities in Wales except for Anglesey. Using the same scheme as all our neighbouring authorities will help to facilitate collaborative working and may allow us to take preventative measures to stop poaching of certain staff from one authority to another.
_ Although there will inevitably be losses and gains under any Job Evaluation scheme we expect these to be less extreme under the GLPC scheme and we would expect less disruption to the overall hierarchy within the Authority.
_ Factors under the GLPC scheme are simpler to apply and provide a fairer method of assessing posts without the "double-counting" of certain skills encountered under the NJC scheme.
We are currently developing Local Conventions in support of the new scheme and are part-way through the benchmarking process which covers 75 posts from across the Authority.
The Job Evaluation Steering Group met at the end of June to agree how to proceed with the evaluations and will be meeting again at the end of July to discuss issues such as protection, back pay and to look at the results of the benchmarking exercise.
We are hoping to start evaluating the rest of the posts by the end of August and aim to complete the majority of the Job Evaluation work by April 2006 in order that we may start to implement the results from October 2006.