Increments at WSCC: did you get yours?

This pay day at WSCC, Friday 24th April, did you see an increase in your pay due to ‘incremental progression’?

A favourable change for council staff achieved by UNISON since the previous chief executive Nathan Elvery left has been the de-linking of annual appraisals from incremental progression.

UNISON has been working hard to avoid this calamity since April 2018 when it was announced in haste by the previous chief executive, without consultation with us. It was on the cusp of being introduced for the first time in April 2020.

There are very good reasons why incremental progression is automatic, unless you are one of a small number of staff placed in active disciplinary or capability procedures. You can read about these in a briefing paper the branch produced.

The departure of the previous chief executive allowed the UNISON branch to re-engage with WSCC on this issue. We asked for the evidence UNISON had previously raised to be properly considered: that the approach would be unsafe as it would discriminate against disabled, black and older staff. Despite our repeated requests, an Equality Impact Assessment had never been completed. The branch would like to point out that we have every confidence that this would not be allowed to happen under the new Chief Executive Becky Shaw’s tenure.

Because no Equality Impact Assessment was completed, we asked instead for the data on 2019 appraisals so we could see whether there were patterns between appraisal score and equality groups. That data showed a clear link between equality groups and lower appraisal scores, just as UNISON predicted and is borne out by national academic evidence. The council has now, thankfully, concluded it is not safe to link incremental progression to subjective appraisal score. UNISON is working proactively with the council on its approach to equalities, as there are clearly still problems to resolve. We have submitted a written paper to start this engagement.

It is fantastic news that the council has changed its approach to incremental progression.

We hope all members in receipt of an incremental  pay increase on 24th April will reflect on UNISON’s role in maintaining this critical aspect of local government terms and conditions.

Please share this news article with non-members and encourage them to join UNISON West Sussex.