Incremental progression: NJC and HAY pay scales

This is relevant for non-schools members on both NJC and HAY pay

Schools members are unaffected by this

We have previously reported on aborted attempts made in March 2018 to make incremental progression dependent on performance-assessment from April 2018.

WSCC is now seeking to implement a performance appraisal system from April 2019 which would measure employee performance for that financial year, up till March 2020. This would mean that increments would only be awarded to staff in April 2020 if they achieved a rating which would permit it. This would be a significant change from the existing practice of awarding increments automatically unless staff were within formal capability or disciplinary procedures.

UNISON does not believe this new approach of withholding incremental progression will have the effect of improving performance. Public sector staff are not primarily motivated by money; public service values and principles play a greater role in motivation.

We have lodged our concerns, but the council is seeking to push ahead in any case.

We have raised the following with the council and have received positive assurances on safeguards around the new appraisal scheme and its link to incremental progression:

  • That annual pay awards will NOT be linked to appraisal outcomes;
  • That the ‘performance bar’ of what is sufficient for employees to achieve incremental progression will NOT move (i.e. when budgets are tight, that it becomes harder to achieve incremental progression);
  • That there will be an appeals process or other mechanism by which staff CAN challenge their appraisal outcome if they do not feel it is a fair reflection of what they have achieved in the year.

If members find they are denied incremental progression in April 2020 they are encouraged to get in touch with the UNISON office as soon as possible so we can provide advice and support as necessary.

We have asked the council to provide us with an Equality Impact Assessment for this change as well as the equalities data for staff at each spinal column point, so we can monitor for bias against staff with protected characteristics (e.g. age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation and so on).