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Ongoing Bandings Dispute

Dear Pauline

Collective Dispute - Paramedic Request for Re-Evaluation of Role

We refer to ongoing discussion around the above, most recently the JNC of the 2nd February 2017 and write to register our concerns over not only the length of time taken to address this request but also the manner in how it is being handled.

You will be aware throughout 2015 the trade unions collectively raised the issues around how the role of paramedic had grown and evolved over the year to a point where we felt it no longer sat comfortably within band five and asked that the role be re-evaluated. We believe that the factor levels set for the role, within a number of factors, no longer provided a true reflection of the role, its requirements or the duties required to be undertaken. Throughout this time we believe we have evidenced which skills and responsibilities applicable to the post, have changed and have also provide details of the change in job demands and have given ample opportunity for the employers side to dispute or question the information provided.

Notwithstanding the above in 2016 negotiations on a new national profile for paramedics continued with agreement being reached towards the end of the year. Whilst this should have given greater impetus in dealing with the matter at hand, there was little in the way of evidence to say this was the case. Whilst other services have reached agreement on issues such as grade, transition and effective date of implementation the Scottish Ambulance Service seems to be at the back of the queue in terms of engagement never mind reaching agreement.

The joint trade unions at every opportunity registered their concerns over the delay in dealing with the requested re evaluation; however in the spirit of partnership it was agreed to accept the commitment given by the organisation and that the matter would be concluded by December 2016.

However this deadline was not met and, as a result, it was agreed that a Joint Negotiating Committee would be arranged. However the Joint Negotiating Committee of the 2nd February 2017, arranged to discuss the issue of Re-Evaluation and possible effective from date was essentially commandeered by the employer side to introduce the issue of service reform, changes to working practices and changes to terms and conditions. Moreover it was clear that there was a move to link the two issues, something that was rejected by staff side as outwith the process of the Job Evaluation handbook and unreasonable.

Staff side for its part has approached this matter in the spirit of partnership, both in dealing with our members’ expectation and in having this matter addressed in an appropriate timeframe including our approach to an effective date of application on any regrading.

Given the timescales associated with our original request, the limited movement in addressing our members issue, the associated attempt to link appropriate grading with service reform, changes to working practices and changes to terms & conditions we would ask that this correspondence be treated as a collective grievance/dispute in line with policy.

We look forward to hearing from you with an agreeable time and date for a hearing.

Yours sincerely