We are grateful to those Branches that responded to the call for agenda items for our discussions with OS in RIS this week, and below is a brief report on how those discussions proceeded.
Partial retirement and (positive) mobility of staff
As reported in BB 52/14, positive discussions had taken place in the PCD area on these issues, and we have intimated our hopes that the position outlined in that briefing could be deemed to apply to the whole of RIS. The SLT will consider this and feed back, but in the mean time, any problems that cannot be resolved in local discussion should be referred to Marianne Owens for Members outwith PCD. Initial feedback indicates that the position discussed in PCD is working positively, and we welcome this greatly.
Flowing directly from the above, RIS agreed to share with TUS their plans for recruitment and broader location strategy moving forward, and the upcoming SLT meeting would discuss resourcing in depth.
Professionalism for Analysts
Good work on the Official Side has been going on of late around the creation of a Professional Framework for Analysts, on which a separate Branch Briefing will be issued shortly. Without prejudice to some concerns regarding the potential treatment of staff who make to meet the required standard following their appointment, TUS can see the benefit of work to develop such a professional framework, and took the opportunity to broadly welcome this work.
Additionally, TUS expressed a desire for a commitment that this endeavour will be properly resourced, and that where grading lines may have blurred to the point that work is identified through the framework as being done at a higher grade, vacancies will be created and filled appropriately in order to ensure Analysts are properly rewarded for their efforts.
Mid-Size & Large Business review
The impact of this review on RIS was discussed, with assurances sought that RIS were adequately resourced to provide cases to the new mid-size teams in April. TUS intimated a desire to be kept in the loop on developments and this was happily agreed.
Previous Branch Briefings have provided updates on PMR across the Department, and TUS expressed some concern that in some areas of RIS, the expectation of the volume of evidence required, and the frequency of review meetings, was such that they were having a deleterious effect on both productivity and morale.
The OS agreed to look into some of the anecdotes provided by TUS, and with the PMR system being reviewed across Business Streams, TUS requested sight of any drafts and input into the final version of the RIS response.
Grading / Job Descriptions
Similarly to concerns raised regarding the possible blurring of Grading lines for analysts above, TUS intimated that a substantial portion of the RIS TUS inbox is comprised of queries around the appropriate grading of work, and asked for up to date generic job descriptions.
An additional piece of ongoing work regarding Professionalism for staff outwith Analyst roles was identified as having as part of its remit the design of role profiles, and TUS welcomed the offer of input into this.
It was agreed that High level data on RIS Workstate would be shared with TUS prior to regular meetings, and TUS concerns regarding the occasional tailing off of the workflow in RIS were acknowledged as a matter suitable for further discussion.
The ongoing TUS concerns regarding a disproportionate number of Temporary Promotions in RIS were raised, and it was agreed that an updated snapshot of these would be provided prior to our next meeting with a view to allowing a more detailed discussion.
Assistant Group Secretary