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Job Evaluation

The National Framework Agreement (NFA) 

Birkbeck College Phase 1 Agreement December 2006

Scope of the Agreement
Key Agreements
Job Evaluation and Matching Processes
New Pay and Grading Structure
Implementation and Backdating of Pay
Assimilation to the New Pay Structure
Appeals Procedures
Progression and Reward Within and Between Grades
New Staff Categories
Working Hours
Other Terms and Conditions

Scope of the Agreement

The Local Agreement specifically applies to all employees of the College, with the following exceptions:

    1) Professors and Heads of Administrative Departments – these staff fall outside the remit of the NFA, but will  be subject to a review within the context of equal pay.  The new pay structure does however set a new minimum salary level for these staff.

    2) The following groups of staff are also exceptions to Phase 1 assimilation and will be reviewed in the 2nd and latter phases of implementation. (A Statement of Intent confirming the arrangements for these staff has been agreed with UCU and is available here)

  • Teaching & Scholarship Staff (Demonstrators, Teaching Assistants/Associate Tutors, Hourly Paid teaching staff) – this group of staff is being dealt with in the 2nd phase.  In the meantime, these staff will continue to be paid their current hourly rates, which are not currently based on the salary scales.
  • Guest Lecturers

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The Key Agreements

Agreement has been reached on the following key areas of the NFA and associated terms:

  • Job Evaluation and Matching Processes
  • New Pay and Grading Structure
  • Implementation and Backdating of pay
  • Assimilation to the New Pay Structure, including Pay Protection and Phasing arrangements
  • Progression and reward within and between grades
  • Appeals Procedures against assimilated grade
  • Working Hours
  • Other Terms and Conditions

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Job Evaluation and Matching Processes

Academic Staff

A set of generic academic job description documents (JDD) were developed by FNG in consultation with College staff, using the JNCHES Library of Academic Role Profiles as a basis (click here for further information). These profiles cover the roles, Lecturer A, Lecturer B, Senior Lecturer and Reader, and Professor. These JDDs were then evaluated by Hay panels to determine the job size for each level.

Academic staff have been matched against these generic JDDs on the basis of their current job. For example, an academic who is currently a Senior Lecturer, has been matched against the Senior Lecturer JDD. This is because there is already a system in place for determining academic level. Therefore, if staff feel they should be at a higher grade, they will be able to apply for re-grading under the relevant academic review procedure.

Research Staff

As with the academics, a set of JDDs were developed by FNG in consultation with College Staff, using the national profiles as the basis (click here for further information). These profiles cover the four levels of research jobs, Research Level 1, 2, 3, and 4. These were then evaluated by Hay panels to determine the job size for each level.

A matching process was agreed by FNG and undertaken by Heads of Schools and appropriate staff, with guidance from HR. This involved reviewing each member of research staff against the JDDs and the accompanying criteria, to determine the level to which they best match. Research staff will assimilate to the new structure on the basis of their matched grade.

Professional & Support, Technical, Craft, Clerical, and Manual Staff

Staff in these groups were asked to submit an up-to-date JDD agreed between the jobholders and their managers. These individual and generic JDDs were then evaluated by Hay panels, and have also been subject to a thorough quality checking exercise by Hay.

This exercise has resulted in over 300 jobs being evaluated covering the vast majority of staff, and providing a wealth of data on which to help model the new pay structure.

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New Pay and Grading Structure

The results of the job evaluation exercise outlined above were used to develop the new pay structure, along with Appendix C of the NFA and UCU’s suggested pay models as benchmarks, and the principles of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  Many models were considered by FNG.  The final pay structure represents the best-fit model for Birkbeck, which is both attractive and competitive in rewarding staff, whilst considering the College’s financial position.

The pay structure is a nine-grade model, using the 51-point single pay spine from the NFA. Each grade has between five and seven increments in the ‘core’ grade, and a further two or three discretionary points at the top of the grade. The highest grade represents the minimum salary for Professors and senior management roles.

In order to make the structure competitive, and to demonstrate the College’s commitment to addressing low pay, we will not be using Grade 1 at Birkbeck. Therefore, the lowest grade commences on the fourth increment of the single pay spine, making the lowest salary at Birkbeck £12,504 (as at 1.8.06) as opposed to £11,575 (the first increment of the 51-point single pay spine) (exclusive of London Allowance).

Please click here for a pictorial illustration of the pay structure itself. This chart shows how the current pay structures map against the single pay spine (based on the closest spine point per current salary), together with the new pay structure.

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Implementation and Backdating of Pay

The FNG has agreed that the effective date of moving to the new pay structure will be 1 August 2006, and any arrears due to employees covered under Stage 1 will be calculated from this date. All the assimilation scenarios and worked examples set out below or in accompanying documents, are based on salaries as at 1 August 2006, and take into account the October increment date.

The official union ballot/consultation process is due to be completed by the end of January 2007; after this date, we will communicate the timescale for actual implementation of the new structure.

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Assimilation to the New Pay Structure

As a result of the job evaluation and matching processes, all staff have, or will have either a Hay job score, or a generic profile to which they have been matched. Each generic profile and Hay score is attached to a grade on the new pay structure. Therefore, on implementation, staff will be assigned to one of the nine new grades.  This process is known as 'assimilation'.

Assimilation Scenarios

There are a number of assimilation ‘scenarios’ that can occur.

The three main scenarios are as follows:

  • Scenario 1 - Where current pay falls within the pay for the new grade to which you are being assimilated, this is known as being ‘white circled’
  • Scenario 2 - Where current pay is lower than the pay for the new grade to which you are being assimilated, this is known as being ‘green circled’
  • Scenario 3 - Where current pay is higher than the pay for the new grade to which you are being assimilated, this is known as being ‘red circled’

When assimilating to the new structure, the new grade for some staff will be very similar to their current grade.  Other staff will assimilate to a grade that has a higher maximum salary than their current grade.  Still others will assimilate to a grade that has a lower maximum salary than their current grade.  'Headroom' is the term used to describe the difference between the maximum salary on an individual's current grade and the maximum salary on their new grade.

In our assimilation examples, we will use the following terms:

  • Moving to a grade with similar or increased headroom = “similar/increased headroom”
  • Moving to a grade with less headroom = “less headroom”

These terms, together with the assimilation scenarios of white, green, and red outlined above, help us to describe all the outcomes for staff on assimilating to the new structure.

For example, someone who is currently at the bottom of the clerical grade C4 and assimilates to Grade 5 on the new structure would be described as “green circled, similar/ increased headroom”. This is because their current salary is below the first increment of their new grade, and they have gained the chance to move through the new grade, to a higher salary than their present expectations.

A number of worked examples detailing the possible outcomes is set out in the Assimilation Examples document, available here.

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Assimilation Rules

Each assimilation scenario as outlined above is accompanied by a set of ‘assimilation rules’, which determine how and where staff will move to on the new structure. In summary, these are as follows:

Scenario 1 - white circled
Employees will assimilate to the equivalent, or next nearest highest point on their new grade, including the discretionary points (to avoid employees at the top end of their current scale being red circled).

Scenario 2 - green circled
Green Circle Phasing Arrangements

Due to the costs involved in implementing the new pay and grading structure, and the number of employees who are benefiting from an increase in pay, it is necessary for the College to phase implementation for green-circled staff. However, the FNG has sought to develop phasing arrangements that are the most beneficial to staff.

The FNG has agreed to move all green-circled staff up to their new grade as determined by job evaluation or matching, subject to these phasing arrangements.

Employees who are green circled will assimilate to the equivalent or next nearest highest increment point on the 51-point single pay spine on 1 August 2006.  With effect from 1 October 2006, they will then either move up the single pay spine by three increments or move straight to the first increment of their new scale, whichever is the lower salary.

On 1 October 2007, all green circled staff will move either to the second increment of their new grade, or to an appropriate increment to meet the principle of no detriment outlined in the MOU.

Scenario 3 - red circled
Red Circle Pay Protection Arrangements
It is acknowledged that there are staff who will assimilate to a grade on the new pay structure with lower pay than their current arrangements.  It is recognised that this is a difficult position for staff and their managers.

This exercise has focused on the requirements of the job and not individuals doing those jobs.  All staff are valued by the College, and it is important to note that a red circle situation is not a reflection of the individual(s) in that role, or their contribution to the College.

The College is committed to ensuring that no red circled employees experience an immediate loss of pay on moving to the new structure; the following pay protection arrangements have been agreed by FNG:

Pay Protection Allowance

Where a member of staff has been red-circled, they will assimilate to the top discretionary point of their new grade, and will receive a ‘pay protection allowance’ each month to make up the difference in their rate of pay. Any increment awarded and already paid for 1 October 2006 will be included in this allowance. The allowance will also increase in line with annual pay awards.

Pay Protection Period
The Pay Protection period will last until 30 September 2009 (a total of three years and two months from the effective implementation date). The allowance will then cease, and the employee will remain on the top discretionary point of their new grade with effect from 1 October 2009, or sooner if the employee is re-graded or re-deployed as set out below.

Action in Red Circle Situations
Three options will be considered by the manager and the employee when agreeing the most appropriate course of action in a red circle situation as set out below, involving trade union representatives, as appropriate. The College will endeavour to use options A and B wherever possible; option C will only be used where it is the individual’s choice, or where options A and B are not appropriate.

Each case will be given individual consideration with appropriate support from HR.

Option A - where practical and in the best interests of the Faculty/Department, the job will be reviewed and developed, for example by increasing the responsibility of the job, such that, following a re-evaluation, the grade is increased.  Where it is appropriate, the jobholder will be offered training / development opportunities to enable them to carry out the new job from an agreed date. Pay Protection Allowance will be reviewed at the point an employee is re-graded.

Option B - the employee will be given priority to apply and be considered for, other jobs within the College at a higher grade as appropriate. A range of training and development opportunities will be made available to the employee to maximise their potential of moving to an alternative role within the College. Pay Protection Allowance will be reviewed at the point of moving to an alternative post.

Option C – the individual may opt to continue in their current job (notwithstanding any changes / developments to the job outside of this exercise) and have their pay protected as outlined above for the period of pay protection.

Staff with Less Headroom
Where staff are not actually red circled, but have assimilated to a grade that has less scope for progression than their current grade, i.e. “less headroom” (not including discretionary points), the above options may be made available to these staff, where appropriate.

Appeals and Market-related Payments
These options do not preclude any member of staff from opting to lodge an appeal against their new grade, or for the line manager (in consultation with the staff member) to consider an application for a market-related payment.

Discretionary Points
In order to minimise the numbers of staff who are red circled, the College has agreed to use all of the increments on a scale for assimilation purposes (see Progression within Grades section below). This will extend to allowing current staff to move through one or more discretionary points in order to meet their current grade expectations wherever possible. It is noted that outside of the NFA assimilation exercise, progression to and within the discretionary element of grades is strictly subject to successful application under the contribution-related pay awards scheme (under development).

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Appeals Procedures

Two procedures have been agreed which give employees the right to appeal against their new grade.

The Academic and Research Staff Appeals Procedure (see here) directs Academics and Research staff who wish to appeal against the level to which they have been matched.

The Professional and Support Appeals Procedure (applying to staff who are currently Academic-Related, Clerical, Craft, Technical, Manual Staff) (see here) outlines the process for staff who fall under the Professional and Support Category (i.e. those whose jobs were evaluated by a Hay panel) who wish to appeal against their new grade.

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Progression and Reward Within and Between Grades

Progression Within Grades

Each of the nine grades has a number of incremental points, which constitute the ‘core’ part of the grade. Staff will normally progress through these core increments each year on 1 October until they reach the top of the core grade1; this progression rewards and assumes satisfactory performance in the role, in addition to acknowledging an increasing level of skill gained with experience in the role year on year.

In order to meet the principles of ‘no detriment’, the following progression rules have been agreed for current staff assimilating to the new grade; these rules will not apply to new staff who join post-implementation:

  • Staff will assimilate to the new grade with effect from 1 August 2006; providing there is headroom on their new grade, they will then receive an increment with effect from 1 October 2006.
  • Staff will be able to assimilate onto the discretionary points of their new grade with effect from 1 August 2006 in order to protect their current pay and expectations and thus ensure no detriment as far as possible.
  • Staff who have assimilated into the core part of the grade may move through the discretionary points, without having to apply through the contribution-related pay awards procedure, in order to protect their current pay expectations.
  • The pay expectations of current staff will be protected as far as possible on assimilating to the new structure. If at any point the new salary is less than the salary the individual would have received under the old arrangements (not including discretionary points), they will move to the next increment so that there is no detriment. Staff who are red circled will be subject to the pay protection arrangements.
  • Contribution-related pay awards policies are under development for all staff.  These policies will cover the process for applying for accelerated and discretionary awards, in addition to one-off bonuses.  The new procedures will be communicated to staff once they have been finalised.

1 In exceptional cases of poor performance and/or disciplinary action, annual increments may be withheld.

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Progression Between Grades

Academic Staff
The current systems of academic review will continue in the immediate future, although these will be reviewed as part of the wider NFA project. This means that the current advancement from Lecturer A to Lecturer B, promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, and Conferment of Title panels will continue to be the vehicles for academic staff to move between grades.

Research Staff
At present, research staff are covered by the Academic-Related and Research Staff Annual Review process. This is under review and the outcome will be communicated to staff once it has been finalised (see below).

Academic-Related, Clerical, Craft, Technical, Manual Staff
There are a number of different schemes in place at present for these staff groups.  A new grading policy is being developed to cover all staff in this group, which will cover the process for current jobs to be re-graded following a substantial change, as well as providing the mechanism for new jobs to be graded.  This will be communicated to staff once finalised.

Academic-Related AR1 to AR2 Progression
At present, AR1 grade is intended to be used as a training/developmental grade, with the expectation that once fully competent in the role, jobholders will be able to apply to progress to AR2. In the new structure, all jobs have been evaluated and thus graded on the basis of the job being carried out satisfactorily, meaning there will no longer be an equivalent AR1 to AR2 progression scheme.  An agreement has been reached with UCU on this issue, and can be found here.

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New Staff Categories

As part of the new pay and grading structure, and harmonisation of terms and conditions, some of the groupings and terms to describe these groupings of staff in certain types of roles have changed. The table below sets out the current groups (in the right column of each table), and the new groups which will replace them on assimilation (in the left column of the table).

Research and Teaching

Professional and Support

Staff Group Current Grades Staff Group Current Grades
Academic     Academic:
Lecturer A, Lecturer B, Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor
Professional & Administrative Academic Related 1-6
Clerical 1-6
Research Research:
RA1A, RA1B, R2, and R3
Operational & Facilities Support Craft CB-CE
Manual G1-G4
Clerical with manual T&Cs (Attendants etc.)
  Technical Technical TA-TI

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Working Hours

The contractual working hours have been harmonised at 35 per week. Academic staff will work to a ‘nominal’ 35 hour week, which will be the basis for any pay and benefits calculations.

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Other Terms and Conditions

Incremental Dates

As previously communicated, all staff will now have an increment date of 1 October each year; this applies to both the annual increments1, and to any accelerated, discretionary, or bonus payments awarded.

The annual pay award will continue to be negotiated at a national level, and will be payable with effect from 1 August each year (or alternative nationally agreed date).

London Allowance

As previously communicated, London Allowance will be harmonised as follows.

 

Stage 1
London Allowance from 1 August 2006

Stage 2
London Allowance from 1 February 2007 with national Pay Award applied

All Other Grades London Allowance increased by the national 3% pay award from £2,448 to £2,520 per annum. London Allowance will be increased by £63 to equalise with the Technical Staff rate of £2,583 per annum.

The harmonised London Allowance rate of £2,583 will then be increased by 1% taking the total to £2,610 per annum for all grades.

Technical Staff only London Allowance to remain at the higher rate of £2,583 per annum.

It has also been agreed that, from February 2007, London Allowance will in future increase in line with national pay awards.

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Human Resources - National Framework Agreement (NFA) and Job Evaluation, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX  Email: humanresources@bbk.ac.uk