Some of you may have received a letter today from the interim chief executive, in which he outlines his beliefs regarding the current dispute.
Let me correct some of the factual inaccuracy contained in that letter;
1. The role of the paramedic has been evaluated nationally, yes it was during 2015/16 it was evaluated as pay band 6 and all paramedics went onto that band in 2017. What he fails to say is that the four legacy paramedic jobs were all matched to a band 5 locally by each trust in early 2005. The unions representing those staff applied for a review of that job match along with a number of other staff within each trust in that year and we still await this to be done.
2. The panel did sit in 2017 and evaluated the four JAQs that had all been previously analysed and we awaited the consistency check, it was this Trust that intervened to stop this happening as it claims to have identified errors in the process. That error being that the panel failed to check the factor to factor score against the national profiles. All the national profiles are contained in a large file that was placed on a desk to be available on the day. The Trust claim that this was never opened as it had not been moved. What they fail to tell you is that the panel on the day had the NHS staff council advisor on JE present to oversee the process, that person has never been heard of since but would know if the process was carried out correctly or not.
3. He is correct that we did agree along with the other two unions that the panel should come back and look in the book, this was agreed at the joint staff side meeting in February which unanimously agreed that if the trust did not agree to this all three unions would conduct indicative ballots of their respective membership. The trust did not agree to this and the GMB carried out this ballot, you the members told us you had now no confidence in the process and wish to take action on the issue.
4. He states that they consider it important that the evaluation is carried out under nationally agreed procedures and that the unions would hold them to account if it weren’t. he is correct we would and did over the heads of service JE that was done by way of a desk top which resulted in a massive uplift in pay. When we challenged the process then, it made no difference, in fact his answer was evaluation, review, check its all the same. His attitude has changed a lot since then. The GMB have remained of the view that this Trust cannot be objective when it comes to fair and transparent job evaluations and this is the reason we have pulled out of the local process ever since.
5. The offer of an independent review carried out by ACAS is only if we accept and sign up to the new terms of reference that have been agreed with the other two unions. That would mean we would need to ignore our members views of the confidence or not they have in that process and quietly await the outcome sometime in November. Those terms of reference are not explicit enough on the issue of “option one” and call for a full evaluation to be carried out.
We too are committed to finding a resolution to this dispute and believe that can only be achieved by an independent investigation and evaluation. We will carry on campaigning on your behalf to achieve this unless you our members tell us differently.
Thank you for your continued support
GMB Branch secretary