Grading Appeals Panel
The Public Services Commission Joint Negotiating Commission (JNC) has agreed that there should be appointed a panel to conduct appeals against job gradings for general grade employees who are under PSC Manual and Craft Workers terms and conditions.
2 i) The panel shall consist of six members of whom three shall represent the Employers' Side of the JNC and three shall represent the Employees' Side.
ii) The panel shall be chosen from a pool of persons to act as panel members, nine to be nominated by the Employers' Side and nine by the Employees' Side, and each Side shall provide the other with a list of such persons.
iii) No person who is the full time representative of the Joint Trade Unions or the Secretary of the PSC shall be eligible for appointment to the panel.
iv) All persons chosen to act as panel members must have received training in the application of the Grading Scheme for General Workers set out in Appendix 2 of the Memorandum of Agreement before they may be nominated for appointment to the panel.
3. The function of the panel shall be to determine the appropriate grading of jobs referred to it in accordance with the Grading Scheme set out in Appendix 2 of the Public Services Commission Manual and Craft Workers Memorandum of Agreement.
Last updated: 1 September 2015
Conduct of business
4. The panel shall meet by agreement between the Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC as and when required in the light of the number of appeals waiting to be heard and the length of time since their submission. (As far as it is possible, the panel will deal with more than one appeal submission when convened).
5. i) An Employee shall submit an appeal to his/her line manager in accordance with the procedure as outlined in Article 15(b).
ii) The Office of Human Resources shall, in consultation with the Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC, convene the panel to consider appeals and advise the employees thereof in accordance with the procedure as outlined in Article 15(b).
iii) The grading of a job which is the subject of appeal can be considered by a panel constituted from persons within the appellants employing authority provided that the panel member is not from the same work area as the appellant and has no prior involvement in the process.
For the purpose of 5(iii) the same work area means the physical location, ie the area or Depot as that of the appellant.
6. It is for the Panel to regulate its own proceedings. Both the employee and management have the right to make representations in writing and in person to the Panel. They should also have the opportunity to respond to new information given in person by the other party.
7. i) The decisions of the panel shall be arrived at by majority agreement between the two Sides, shall be recorded accordingly and signed by the panel members. Decisions shall be binding on the employer and employee.
ii) The operative date of any decisions will be the date upon which the original appeal was submitted. iii) In the event that the decision of the panel results in a lower grade for the job, the job holder will retain his/her existing wage rate on a mark time basis until overtaken by the correct rate.
8. i) The cost of administration and reasonable travel and subsistence expenses of the panel shall be borne by the Office of Human Resources.
ii) The cost of training the pool of persons as panel members shall be borne by the Office of Human Resources. iii) Attendance at meetings of the panel by employers' and employees' representatives during working hours shall be treated as special leave of absence with pay.
9. The Office of Human Resources shall report annually to the JNC on the decisions taken by the panel.
Failure to Reach Agreement
10. Where agreement between the panel members cannot be reached, the Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC shall be invited to conciliate with a view to providing advice to the panel to enable it to reach a decision.
In the event that either the full time representatives of the Joint Trade Unions or the Secretary of the PSC would be inappropriate, either Side of the JNC may nominate a substitute conciliator.
Operative Date of the Agreement
11. This agreement will come into operation on a date to be mutually agreed by the Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC.
To enable grading reviews to be handled in as efficient and timely manner as possible the following guidance has been prepared.
It is in the interest of both the employee and the employer that all jobs are appropriately graded. During the normal course of business jobs will grow and change and it is at this point that it may be necessary to review the grade of your job. It is the responsibility of Management to ensure that the process is utilised fairly and consistently and the responsibility of employees to ensure that co-operation is given to resolve grading issues as swiftly as possible. The onus at each stage of a grading review is on the relevant manager to ensure the employee is provided with the necessary paperwork, that it is completed sufficiently, and that it is progressed to the next stage expediently.
Obtain form – Part 1 – Grading Review (Appendix 15 of the Memorandum of Agreement) which will be provided by your manager. Complete and return this form to your line manager.
Ensure that you have agreed your job description with your line manager (or relevant manager) who will ensure that this is enclosed at each further stage of the procedure.
Your line manager will consider all the paperwork relating to your job in line with the Whitley Council Grading Scheme as set out in Appendix 1 of the Memorandum of Agreement. This paperwork should include:
- Part 1 of the 'Grading Review' form in Appendix 15 of the Memorandum of Agreement
- Your current job description
You should expect a response within 5 days of submitting the request to your line manager. In exceptional circumstances, there may be a delay in completing the review and notifying you of the result, but this should not extend beyond 10 working days. If your line manager is not qualified to undertake the review it may need to be referred to the relevant manager for review.
a) If your manager agrees that your job should be re-graded
If your line manager agrees that there is sufficient evidence to support re-grading your job, he/she will refer this through the appropriate management structure to enable your grade to be changed. The date from which your grade will be changed will be the date of your signed and dated submission of Part 1.
b) If your manager disagrees that your job should be re-graded
You should expect to be informed of the reasons why your job has not been regraded both verbally and in writing within the same timescales as set out above. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you should complete the first section of Part 3 of the Grading Review form which will be provided by your line manager. This form requests that a Grading Appeal Panel is convened to consider the result of the grading review.
You should submit this form (Part 3) to your line manager who will complete the second section. He/she will send the form and all associated documentation to the Office of Human Resources within 3 days of receiving the signed Part 3.
The Office of Human Resources will convene a Grading Appeal Panel within 20 working days of receipt.
The Grading Appeal Panel will meet and will consider the decision made by the manager who completed the grading review. It will consider information supplied in the application from the employee, as well as from the manager.
You may be required to speak to the panel about the reasons for your appeal and why you believe it to be warranted. You may request that a union representative supports you in doing this.
Managers may also be required to speak to the panel outlining the basis of their decisions.
The Grading Appeal Panel will reach a decision and will notify the Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC.
The decision of the Grading Appeal Panel is binding. You will be notified in writing of the decision of the Grading Appeals Panel within 2 working days of the hearing.
NB: Grading Appeal Panels will endeavour to meet during the employees’ normal working week. Managers will ensure employees are given suitable paid time off to attend a grading appeal.
Responsibilities at a glance
You have a responsibility to:
- Complete Part 1 of the Grading Review form
- Co-operate with any discussions to resolve the issues without escalation
- If dissatisfied with the result – sign Part 3 of the form and submit it to your line manager
- Attend the Grading Appeal Panel hearing (with support if you so wish)
- Accept the decision of the panel as binding
The Line Manager
The Line Manager is responsible for:
- Ensuring that there is an agreed job description
- The fair application of this process
- Ensuring that employees have the necessary form to request a grading review where necessary
- Providing a full explanation of decisions made about grading of posts to employees both verbally and in writing
- Ensuring that the process does not stall and is progressed within the time limits
- Representing the Managements point of view at any subsequent appeal
- Abiding by the decision of the Panel
The Office of Human Resources
It is the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources to:
- Convene the Grading Appeal Panel within 20 days and upon receiving in full:
- Forms - Parts 1, 2 and 3 - duly signed and dated
- a current, signed and dated job description
- the comparator sheet showing factor scoring
- any other material that was used to establish the decision
- Where there is any apparent shortcoming in documentation submitted, resolve the matter with the relevant manager within the 20 working days allowed for convening the Grading Appeals Panel
- Document the outcome of each Appeal
- Communicate the outcome of each Appeal to the following:
- the employee
- the Department / Line Manager
- Joint Trade Unions and the Secretary of the PSC
- Report to the JNC on an annual basis on the decisions taken by the panel
The Grading Appeal Panel
The Grading Appeal Panel is responsible for:
- Reviewing grading decisions made by managers at the request of employees and to confirm, or amend the grade in accordance with the grading scheme as set out in Appendix 2 of the Memorandum of Agreement
- Fulfilling the necessary documentation to provide clarity around the decisions of the panel in the pursuance of fairness and equality for all