Anger over job evaluation wage cuts

Local authorities have been accused of using job evaluations to
slash wages with some social care staff facing cuts of up to

In Hull, assessment officers face pay cuts of between £3,000
and £4,000 and some social workers stand to lose £2,000
as a result of job evaluation. Public sector union Unison is
preparing more than 1,000 appeals against the council.

“This is a complete slap in the face – devaluing us at a time when
we need to be valued,” said one social worker, whose salary is
being cut from £26,000 a year to £24,000. “If this
happens I will lose my house. I know people are resigning over

Rob Batty, Unison branch secretary at Hull Council, said
professions such as social workers and solicitors had been hit
particularly hard. “One problem is the council based its
evaluations on five-year-old job descriptions,” he said.

British Union of Social Work Employees general secretary Steve
Anslow said the union would be contacting the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister about the cuts.

“Ten years of effort to make social work scales reflect the worth
of the real value and level of work done have been thrown out of
the window in Hull, along with their chances of recruiting,” Anslow

Meanwhile, social workers in Dorset have been told to expect salary
cuts – as yet unspecified – after a similar council-wide job
evaluation. One social worker facing a pay cut questioned whether
the Diploma in Social Work was “worth the paper it’s written

Councils in England and Wales are carrying out job evaluations as a
result of the single status agreement between unions and the
National Joint Council for Local Authorities (NJC).

The NJC agreed a job evaluation scheme, which included scoring for
the emotional demands of the job, but it was not made compulsory.
Some councils have combined the NJC evaluation with others such as
that by the American consultancy the Hay Group.

Fiona Westwood, Unison’s national officer, said: “Because of a lack
of central funding local authorities are trying to do job
evaluation on the cheap. But only the NJC scheme measures the
emotional demand that comes with a job.”

A Hull Council spokesperson said the evaluation would be subject to
an independent external validation, to ensure its “fairness and

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