Venue: Room 6, South Bucks District Council, Capswood, Oxford Road, Denham UB9 4LH. View directions
To agree the minutes of the Joint Staffing Committee held on 18 January 2018.
The Minutes of the Joint Staffing Committee meeting on 18 January 2018 were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
The Committee considered a report to approve the final pay award for staff on harmonised contracts and also to agree the pay award offer to be made to Heads of Service whose pay is determined locally to be effective from 1 April 2018 and 1 April 2019.
Staff on the Harmonised Contract
At the last meeting the Committee agreed to make an offer of an increase of 2% in pay in April 2018 and 2% in April 2019.Â Members also agreed some proposed changes to the pay spine to ensure staff at the lower ends were paid in accordance with the national living wage.
Officers took that offer to UNISON and have since undergone a series of negotiations with them.Â UNISON initially put in a counter offer for 3% pay award in 2018 and 3% in 2019.Â They also wanted some guarantees that this Council would at least track the national agreement and strongly disagreed with the Councilâ€™s position that had previously been agreed to move to local pay arrangements.
As a result of a series of discussions a position of common ground has been found which has been put in recommendation 1 of the report.
Heads of Services
Members were asked to make a pay award offer to the Heads of Services which equates to that made to staff.Â Heads of Services are on locally agreed pay but the Council needs to be mindful of what is happening nationally.Â Nationally the Joint Negotiating Committee agreement is still subject to negotiation but it is likely it will match this proposal.Â The GMB Pay Claim asks for parity across all local government bargaining groups.
A Member asked why pre-determined conditions should be accepted with a local pay mechanism. The HR Manager reported that as good practice the Council would always track the national pay award and seek to match it if they were able to afford it and if not they would have to go back to the negotiating table.
Members agreed that it was helpful to link local pay with the national situation as far as possible and that this would help attract good staff to the Council and help retention but re-iterated the position that local pay was now in place.
The Committee received a report on the results of the staff survey for 2017 conducted in December and January this year and the following points were noted:-
The Council is responding to the survey as follows:-
Whilst Members found the results very encouraging, despite the uncertainty around the unitary decision (which had been picked up in the recent Peer review) they highlighted the following issues:-
That the results of the 2017 Staff Survey and the actions being taken in response to the feedback given be noted.
The HR Manager provided an update on the following key points:-
The leavers, sickness and recruitment figures show nothing different from that reported at the last Committee meeting in January.Â In terms of sickness absence the Council is still experiencing higher than wanted absence levels and have put a number of initiatives in place to tackle this.
Â· All on-going projects have been reported on previously.
Â· The main update which will be of particular interest is the work the Council is doing around recruitment and retention in Planning and Economic Development.Â The Council is currently consulting with the staff in this area to get their feedback on these ideas and initiatives and it is something that will be a particular focus for officers over the next couple of years not just in planning but across all services.Â
Â· The HR Manager was keen on the Recruitment Introduction Fee for existing staff when they introduce employees to roles.
Â· It was important to keep staff motivated over the next two years with the uncertainty around the unitary decision.
Â· The second cohort of the Middle Managers course had recently started. The first cohort were completing their learning logs and should be able to apply for their ILM certificate.
Â· A trailblazer degree level apprenticeship in Town Planning is currently being developed and alongside this the Council is considering using apprenticeships to offer development opportunities to existing staff.
The Committee welcomed the initiatives being undertaken, particularly the work on apprenticeships and the Middle Managers Course. They also welcomed the collaborative working with Wycombe District Council on coaching and mentoring in order to make savings through economies of scale. Concern was raised about the sickness levels still being too high. The HR Manager reported that these figures could be skewed as a phased return to work was still recorded as time off sick and the sickness policy should be amended to provide a clearer picture.
A Member asked whether the Council had a formal succession policy. The HR Manager reported that they did not although they expected to see this addressed in personal development plans. There was also a Workforce Planning Framework which included information on competencies and skills and the Service Planning process.
That the report be noted.