RE: Single Status - Job Evaluation
I agree wholeheartedly with Howard's comments and observations.
I thought sharing my experience may help. The Unit I manage is freestanding based in CEs Directorate and we all work 100% in supporting scrutiny members. We are supported in the arrangement and clerking of meetings provided by our democratic services colleagues.
When a senior management review of salaries took place here using Hay's it was very clear that the evaluation system could not deal with the overview and scrutiny role. My post and grade as some of you know is a hybrid Assistant CO/Head of Service and is within the COs pay structure.
Despite demonstrating the scope to make decisions, strategic advice, span of influence within the Council and key strategic partners and working closely across political leadership spectrum nature of Head of Scrutiny role, the draft evalution came out so low that it even surprised colleagues in HR and fellow senior managers and infuriated the Chairman of OSC. It was clear to me that those who evaluated this role did not understand its strategic and political fit in modernised councils.
I appealed of course! The Chairman of OSC asked to meet with the evaluator and he provided examples of the ways in which this post should have scored higher against key criteria. Why did he do this? Beacause he felt strongly that the Head of Scrutiny post should be graded within the CO pay structure as it was 11 years when this post was created at Hounslow, so that the post holder could have clout and the scrutiny function could be seen within the organisation and externally as being important. He did not want this function reduced in its status and hel felt strongly that if the salary for this post was significantly reduced, then how officers and others saw the function would also change.
The evaluators awarded some more points but not enough so with some localised additions I/the post did not lose out. However the next time there is a job evalution I'm not confident that the grade can be maintained unless the evaluators better understand new and emerging roles. New for them but not for us!
Based on my experience somebody needs to be raising our roles in supporting non executives with the evaluators as they don't understand the scrutiny role. They just did not appreciate how a Head of Scrutiny could operate for example with the Chief Exec of the PCT and the sphere of independence in advice giving to scrutiny chairs and executive. Somebody needs to be advocating the professional nature of the scrutiny skill sets in its own right. This is especially important in times of budget challanges when members need to have people appointed with the right skills set and experience. If through job evalaution exercises, whatever the context, scrutiny officer salaries are lowered, then like Howard and others, I fear for what this will do to the support for scrutiny members.