From time to time, the AEP will g o into dispute with employers. The reasons for the are varied, but it is always a last resort, after all other avenues of discussion, negotiation and consultation have been exhausted. Usually, it will mean that, in the view of the AEP, the employer is not providing a workplace that is conducive to the safety and wellbeing of AEP members and will not negotiate in a meaningful way with the AEP to resolve difficulties. In these circumstances, the AEP will not carry adverts for vacancies until the dispute is resolved. Information on AEP policy regarding disputes can be found (here)
The disputes are kept under regular review by the NEC .
Currently, the AEP is in dispute with the following employers:
Following a period of consultation with other trade unions, the employer made changes to terms and conditions of employment for all employees, including a reduction to salaries and a removal of essential car user payments. Soulbury Officers in Walsall are now being paid at approximately 1% below the nationally agreed and published Soulbury pay scales. The AEP has made alternative suggestions which will see the same savings, but will protect the payment of agreed Soulbury salaries. These suggestions have been rejected by the employer, on the basis that the same policy must be applied to all staff, regardless of different terms and conditions of service. The AEP continues to be prepared to discuss ways in which we could resolve the dispute, but the employer remains unwilling to seek a resolution.
The employer imposed changes to terms and conditions which have had a detrimental effect on AEP members. This dispute has been temporarily lifted to allow the General Secretary to negotiate a satisfactory outcome. This is now under further review, as the situation in Northamptonshire continues to deteriorate.
The AEP remains in dispute with Cambridgeshire County Council following changes to its appraisal process in 2014. In essence, the changes meant that, despite contracts stating that increments would be awarded ‘subject to satisfactory performance’ the employer implemented a process which meant that employees would only receive an annual increment if they ‘exceeded expectations’. In addition, the structure of the directorate meant that some EPs had their targets set and appraised by managers who were not qualified EPs. For the last few years, EPs have been a high performing group and in all but a few cases, increments have been awarded. Discussion with the employer which sought to ensure EP involvement in setting appropriate targets for EPs which had been productive. However, we are now led to believe that the Council is imposing quotas on the number of people in different areas who can achieve an appraisal rating high enough to earn an increment. This is in direct contravention of assurances made by the employer when the new appraisal system was imposed. Clearly, the AEP could not support a system which awards increments based on quotas not performance.
Until we receive assurances from the AEP that this is not the case, then the AEP remains in dispute with Cambridgeshire County Council.
There has been significant progress made through discussions with Calderdale in recent weeks. At its meeting at the end of January, the NEC agreed to lift the dispute.
If any member of the AEP who is contemplating applying for posts with any of the employers mentioned above, and would like additional information regarding the disputes or the resolution of disputes, please email email@example.com.