Thursday, 22 March 2012
Does It Add Up?
I've had a spate of enquiries from Nursery Nurses recently - who are keen to know if they fall into the category of jobs that have an equal pay claim - potentially at least.
Well the answer is that it depends on local circumstances - although these tend not to vary too greatly from council to council across Scotland.
So here's a previous post from the blog site archive that explains the position - as it was then at least - in relation to South Lanarkshire Council.
The point is that it should be relatively easy to compare jobs - in terms of their skills and levels of responsibility - which can often go hand in hand with other things such as a requirement to possess certain qualifications.
The key point is that when you look at the pay of two broadly comparable jobs - does anything look strange - is there something that doesn't quite add up or make sense?
If so, chances are there is the basis of an equal pay claim.
Nursery Nurses (4 February 2009)
Nursery Nurses are a good example of how male and female groups tend to be treated very differently when it comes to new pay and grading structures.
Take the situation in South Lanarkshire Council.
The council says it has introduced a fair and non-discriminatory job evaluation (JE) scheme – yet most employees haven’t a clue how the JE scheme works or how it rewards different council jobs – male or female, skilled or unskilled.
Instead of being transparent and understandable – pay and grading arrangements in South Lanarkshire are a mysterious and deeply guarded secret.
Now Nursery Nurses do a very demanding job (like many other people) – they help young children get the most out of their education and interact with other key individuals during this process - including parents and teachers.
Nursery Nurses are also highly qualified – they must hold the recognised diploma in nursery nursing before they can even be considered for a job – in South Lanarkshire or anywhere else.
Yet, according to those who came along to the recent Action 4 Equality Scotland ‘drop in’ meetings - the post of Nursery Nurse in South Lanarkshire is paid at Spinal Column Point (SCP) 40 – or £10.39 per hour (at 2007/08 rates).
Compare how that looks against a council tradesman – an electrician or plumber – whose basic pay can go up to Spinal Column Point (SCP) 64 – a fact that has been confirmed by South Lanarkshire employees.
Now, no one is saying that the council electrician or plumber is not worth SCP 64 – or £14.86 per hour for that matter (£14.86 at 2007/08 rates).
But if that is true – and represents a fair outcome under the council’s JE scheme – why are such highly skilled and highly trained Nursery Nurses worth so much less?