7.1 Mandy Quayle, Acting Director, HR & Digital, introduced the report by explaining that this item covered both:
a) the implementation with effect from 1st April 2019 of the new national pay spine as the second part of the 2018-20 two year national pay deal for ‘Green Book’ employees; and
b) a review of the Council’s ‘Green Book’ grading structure, with recommendations to the Committee for a new grading structure to take effect from 1st September 2019.
7.2 The proposals regarding year two of the national pay award would move all ‘Green Book’ employees onto the new pay spine on 1st April, having first applied under the current pay spine any annual pay increments that are due on that date.
7.3 It was proposed that the current grading structure would remain in place from 1st April 2019 to 31st August 2019, at which point employees would transfer on 1st September 2019 to the appropriate pay points in the new grading structure.
7.4 The new grading would remove the lower increments of the current pay grades, which would have the effect of reducing the length of the grades and removing the ‘overlaps’ between them.
7.5 The Committee were reassured that the proposed changes have been subject to an equalities impact assessment and are consistent with the council’s statutory obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty. No employee would lose out financially as a result of these changes.
7.6 These changes would put the Council in a better position to address current and future pressures to secure effective recruitment and retention in an increasingly tight and competitive labour market.
7.7 Members appreciated the Council’s concerns regarding its ability to attract and retain critical staff in a number of professions in the current climate. It was recognised managers are increasingly needing to engage new staff above the minimum of the grade, in order to secure appointments, and often toward or on the maximum of the grade in order to attract external candidates of a suitable quality for certain key hard-to-fill posts. In areas where the labour market is particularly ‘tight’ there is often need to resort to further financial inducements to both recruit and retain key staff.
7.8 It was noted that consultations have taken place with the Council’s recognised trade unions for Green Book employees (Unison, GMB and Unite), and the unions are supportive of the proposals.
7.9 The Committee were then requested to approve the making of a formal offer to the unions to enter a collective agreement to implement the new grading structure and make the corresponding changes to the contracts of employment of the relevant staff. Finalisation of the collective agreement with the unions would be subject to their consultation and/or a ballot of their members to obtain an appropriate mandate.
7.10 On a related matter, members requested that officers monitor the effect of contractual notice period requirements to ensure there is no adverse impact on recruitment and retention.
7.11 The Committee resolved to pass the recommendations as outlined in the report.