Appraisals at WSCC – support from the branch

A ‘One Voice’ all-staff email was issued on Thursday 4 April. It outlined changes to the appraisals process that are relevant for staff for 2019-20, and which could result in increments being withheld in April 2020. This does not affect staff working in schools.

UNISON’s position on the linking of appraisals to increments is as follows:

  • We do not see the changes as justified, as there is no evidence to suggest that performance or morale will be improved by them. No evidence has been presented by management to justify the changes, despite repeated requests.
  • We believe the changes could lead to discriminatory outcomes. An Equality Impact Assessment has not been carried out by the employer, despite repeated requests.

In addition, we note that from April 1 2019, Surrey County Council has decided to abandon its linking of appraisal outcomes to incremental progression. If Surrey has now decided the policy is ineffective and abandoned it, it is not clear why West Sussex has decided in 2019 to implement it.

If members have any issues with appraisals in 2019-20, we encourage them to get in touch with the branch office for support.

We encourage all members to seek support. We emphasise however that members who have had maternity leave, sickness leave, are disabled, are black workers, are older workers or are from any other equality group, really should get in touch for support if they are not rated as Good or Outstanding employees.

UNISON’s help can be to:

  1. Support members to challenge their appraisal rating;
  2. Support members who are having difficulty getting either 1-1s or an annual appraisal scheduled.

UNISON is also:

  • Raising concerns about the new probationary period which is not yet reflected on the council’s Intranet with the old policy remaining in place;
  • Requesting consultation prior to a proposed change of practice from October 1 2019 on the award of increments for new starters;
  • Requesting publication in the FAQs that there is scope for union support for members who wish to challenge their appraisal outcome;
  • Requesting publication in the FAQs that there is scope for union support for members who wish to have support in securing 1-1s and appraisals.