Posted tagged ‘job evaluation’

Ten ways to tell that your local authority is facing a severe budget crisis

August 5, 2011

Life's a beach in Local Government

These are tough times for Local Government and it is about to get harder as the cuts really start to bite. Today we present our guide for how to tell if your authority is taking it harder than most.

1)      Your Chief Executive Disappears

Suddenly, your effervescent and inspirational leader is locked in his office on the first floor only coming out for occasional photo shoots with the leader. His appearances in the canteen are rarer than the appearance of well cooked food.

2)      Your Chief Executive is everywhere

Stress treats everyone differently and suddenly your Chief Executive is at every meeting, reassuring, sharing your pain and generally getting everyone ready for what she describes as ‘a very tough stretch.’

3)      Trade Union Officials are never separated from their Job Evaluation manuals

Every restructure brings a fight over job grading and when there’s a fight over job grading theUnion are called in to try and write a new JD that fixes the problem. At the moment the Union guys are dealing with so many restructures they might as well be working in HR!

4)      The communications talk more about leaving than staying

Advertising on council notice boards and in the canteen is all about Employee Assistance Schemes, CV writing workshops and the offer of advice about how to plan your retirement.

5)      Home working is considered part of your ‘employee duty’ rather than a part of the work life balance

Suddenly reducing the number of desks in the local authority is a necessity and council managers will do everything they can to get their staff to work out of the office as often as possible. It’s not new but 70% occupancy targets are normal rather than revolutionary now.

6)      The contracts for your consultants get shorter and shorter

In a time of massive budget cuts the council can’t bring itself to move away from bringing in consultants (we need help from someone, anyone… Please!) to help them find the savings but the contracts for these guys are shorter and more demanding. 3 weeks seems to be the new norm.

7)      Service managers start muttering darkly about those ‘bloody increments

Even the smallest things that might affect a managers budget are greeted with deep concern and previously accepted parts of local government life (like an increment) are seen as hand grenades making setting that budget even more difficult that it has otherwise been.

8)      The head of procurement takes on an almost deity like position in the authority

All savings that can be made from goods and services (buying stuff) are savings that don’t need to be made elsewhere. Any help you can get to do that means one less job you might have to lose. Today is the age of the procurement head!

9)      You get a random ‘catch all’ recruitment freeze.

It’s not sensible in any way shape or form but stuff it, if we use a little recruitment drag and saves the jobs of a few people here then why not? Areas with high turnover of staff tend to disagree but no pain no gain…

10)  Providing a gold plated service is seen as a bad thing

Any service that provides a gold plated service is obviously spending too much right… What we need is cheap mediocrity at all times.

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at:

Job Evaluation

June 22, 2011

Jokes about Reindeers are not as funny in June

It’s a guest post day on WLLG. Today’s poster tackles an area of local government that few dare to tread but is becoming increasingly important; the job evaluation process. If you have a post you’d like to add to the blog please drop us a line at but not before you’ve read this excellent post:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that equal pay is a good thing. But pay cuts in the name of equal pay aren’t readily accepted.

Enter the quandary of Job Evaluation.

The 2004 Local Government pay agreement obliged all councils to carry out JE. Roles are assessed and graded on factors including knowledge, mental skills, physical/mental/emotional demands and working conditions.

Some roles stay on existing spinal column points; some increase and some – inevitably –go down. Same is fine, up welcome, but a reduction in scale points, particularly for the low-paid and those at the top of their scale, can cause serious upset.

The mantra of JE is that roles are evaluated, not people. This is a hard fact for those potentially facing a drop in pay, with related effects on salary progression and pensions. While pay protection is usually offered, ranging from months to years, an adverse JE outcome can be a serious blow to individuals’ finances and wellbeing.