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Wednesday 19 June 2019

MoJ staff: How the grading review affects you

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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has released information regarding its grading review project, and how it will impact staff working across the business – including those working for the Legal Aid Association and those who transferred under Functional Leadership.

Over the past few months, the FDA – along with representatives from fellow civil service trade unions PCS and Prospect – has been in discussions with the department regarding its decision to replace the band A grade with  a new grade 7 (G7) and grade 6 (G6), which also involves the harmonisation of those in the HMPPS structure. This new structure is more inkeeping with the system used commonly across the civil service.

We were determined that staff should not be worse off through this regrading. Having formed a working group on this issue, we gauged members' concerns, and went on to negotiate on their behalf.

The FDA has successfully:

1. Ensured that no members will suffer a reduction in pay as a result of regrading.
2. Ensured members' pensions are similarly protected.
3. Secured improvements to the new G7 and G6 pay range, to make them more competitive with other Government departments.
4. Provided feedback on the communications from the MoJ to push for members’ questions to be answered.

While it is clear that we have secured tangible improvements for members, it is also evident that there are concerns about the lack of grade protection for those who transferred into the MoJ as a grade 6 from another part of the civil service.

We repeatedly raised concerns about this issue, but the MoJ would not agree to provide "additional protections for any staff in scope who may have held a former G6 role in the historical organisations that formed MoJ or other government departments."

We will, however, continue to make the case on behalf of members.

To help us do this, we’re asking you to share your views by emailing the dedicated People Group inbox that has been created via Grade6&7Evaluation@justice.gov.uk, copying in FDA National Officer Victoria Jones (victoria@fda.org.uk). 
 
This will give us a record of members’ responses, which we can then raise at our regular meetings with the grading review project team. Having such clear examples from members who are directly impacted helps to strengthen our arguments.

You can also use the People Group inbox to seek clarification on your individual circumstances.

We recognise that a separate outstanding area of concern is the treatment of lawyers across the business, including HM Court & Tribunals Service, the Legal Aid Association and the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee. We have written to the department regarding this issue, and are awaiting a response. Members will be kept up to date with developments, but if you have any concerns about how your area of work will be impacted contact Victoria via victoria@fda.org.uk.

This is also a good time to become more involved with the work the FDA does, while supporting your colleagues. We’re keen to ensure that we know what is happening across the business, so if you’d like to become a representative or a contact, please get in touch.

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