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    • Gloria_mundi
    • By Gloria_mundi 26th Sep 17, 10:50 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Suitable alternative - NHS pathology
    • #1
    • 26th Sep 17, 10:50 AM
    Suitable alternative - NHS pathology 26th Sep 17 at 10:50 AM
    Hi All.

    For the second time in a the last 5 years my colleagues and I have been given notice that we will have to compete for jobs. (Trust merge was called off the first time around but is now back on)

    There are 5 of us, all Band 7 Biomedical scientists, I myself have the AFC title 'Team Manager' and my colleagues are I believe 'BMS advanced.'

    We will be competing for 2 band 7 jobs, the intention being to downgrade the remaining 3 to Band 6 Specialist.

    My question is, does the band 6 role constitute a reasonable alternative ?

    Most of us are in our 50's, at least 1 over 60 and would probably all prefer an offer of redundancy.

    Currently I have broad managerial responsibility for the whole of the Biochemistry side of Blood science, manage staff daily, prepare rotas and only perform lab based work perhaps 20% of the time.
    I also work 9-5 Mon - Fri.

    If down-banded there would be loss of pay, loss of status and a move to 90%+ lab based work.

    Also I would likely be asked to take part in the 24 hour, industrial style shift pattern.

    There are few very angry people here currently, having given 30+ years to this Trust/DHA, receiving this letter yesterday felt like a huge kick in the teeth.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

Page 1
    • Marmaduke123
    • By Marmaduke123 26th Sep 17, 12:23 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 17, 12:23 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 17, 12:23 PM
    Have you looked at the criteria for Band 7 and for Band 6?

    Down banding seems to happen a lot now in the NHS.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 26th Sep 17, 4:20 PM
    • 9,719 Posts
    • 7,752 Thanks
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 17, 4:20 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 17, 4:20 PM
    Do you want to continue working for the NHS, albeit probably in a lower grade role or do you want to try looking for another job when you're in your 50s? Another job where you will have no security of employment for 2 yrs, so you could find yourself in the same position in 2 yrs time.

    Don't expect any gratitude or recognition from any institutional employer, especially those who are ultimately governed by politics.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 10th Oct 17, 5:41 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 575 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:41 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:41 PM
    It's 5 years since I left the NHS but my understanding has always been that +/- one band is a suitable alternative. (ie if you're a band 7, then a band 6 or band 8a would be argued to be a suitable alternative). Or rather, to be precise, you can't argue that if is not suitable simply because of the banding.

    Won't the people going down to band 6 have protected pay for a period? Know it's not ideal, but better than nothing.

    FWIW this has probably happened to 1000s if not 10000s of NHS staff in the last ten years.

    EDIT: Don't forget the benefits of the NHS pension! Don't leave unless you really have to!
    Last edited by Manxman in exile; 10-10-2017 at 5:43 PM. Reason: PS
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 10th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    • 6,263 Posts
    • 4,783 Thanks
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    Get union involved, especially with ring-fencing pension arrangements for those affected.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 11th Oct 17, 2:30 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 575 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 2:30 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 2:30 PM
    By all means get your union involved (they must be already if two trusts are merging?) but I think they'll simply accept that redeployment to a post one AfC band lower does not mean that the post is not a suitable alternative.

    As to potential loss of status and having to do more lab work, I think you would find it difficult to argue. (Happened to loads of staff at my old trust after a merger).

    As you've got five old posts going into five new posts (albeit three at lower bands) it doesn't really look like a redundancy situation, assuming the three lower bands are deemed to be suitable alternatives. What about the corresponding staff at the trust you are merging with? Won't they be competing with you and your colleagues for the five "merged" posts? I'm assuming part of the rationale behind the merger is to reduce staff in "non-frontline" services like yours'.

    I'm not aware that pensions can be ring-fenced. If you are still in the 1995 scheme you are probably better off than if you aren't.

    FWIW, when my job completely disappeared almost overnight after a merger, I ended up with three options: straightforward redundancy; voluntary early retirement (definitely not!); or a retirement package based on me being over 50 and still in the 1995 scheme. I was also a band 7 and chose the last one as it seemed a very reasonable deal. Whether that sort of deal may still be available to you, I don't know.

    (PS - if any of you are in the career average earnings pension scheme (current NHS?) being in a lower band at the end of your career may not be as bad as previously).
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