Pay rise was ‘dreadful mistake’

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Last week, the States announced that 126 social workers and allied health professionals – which include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers and pharmacists – had been wrongly awarded pay rises in 2017.

As a result, the affected staff have been told they will have their pay dropped back to its original level from April.

Last week, a group of AHPs said that they were considering appealing against the decision as several of them are now facing financial difficulties having planned their expenditure based on their current salaries.

Assistant Chief Minister Richard Buchanan, vice-chairman of the States Employment Board, said that he had ‘great sympathy’ for those affected but added that the error had to be corrected. It is estimated that the mistake cost the States about £750,000. The staff will not be asked to repay what has already been paid to them.

Mr Buchanan said: ‘It is very difficult for them and we do appreciate that and offer our sympathies. We were left in a very difficult situation that we had to correct. It was a dreadful mistake.

‘It is also important to remember that there are a lot of other people who are as upset or even more so that this has happened.

‘We will be working to make sure they are properly regraded.’

He added: ‘The commitment [to award the pay rises] was given incorrectly and was not authorised by the States or the SEB. It was authorised by three officers who are no longer with the States.

‘We are going through a regrading process, which will be completed in March. That may result in something that is beneficial for them.

‘We have given them three months
notice of this happening and, given that we will have finished regrading by then,
they will know with certainty what they will be earning.’

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