GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS UPDATE
My optimism from the last post didn’t quite pan out as we have still not quite got over the line with the settlements.
GOOD NEWS FIRST
The verification website and process is now ready to go. All the claimants group participants – A4ES GMB UNISON UNITE & PROSPECT will be sending letters to their claimants this Friday.
These will be letters, not emails and they will be sent to the last address that we have on record for you.
A4ES clients can check and update their address on the dashboard if you log into your A4ES Account on the website.
The MOU is not quite there but we are very close. There has been a change of representation at the unions so the new reps have had to be brought up to speed. This has been done so hopefully we can get this sorted asap. The unions will be writing to their members about this later this week too.
The really bad news is that the tax process cannot start until the new tax year which begins on 6th April. This means that the net offers cant be finalised until then and then GCC needs an agreement with HMRC. Last time this took several weeks. This means that the offers probably wont be sent until mid to late May and payment wont be until June at the earliest. We are trying to persuade GCC to shorten this process. But that is the current projection.
A4ES has written to those claimants who are not due to receive any offer. The unions will be doing the same this week.
People are usually excluded because they do a comparator job or they now earn the same as the relevant comparator or at least a comparator the council would accept.
Unfortunately this has caused some people to start rumours that are incorrect and are causing unnecessary upset. For example it is not true that Grade 5’s have been excluded. There are a very small number (about 20) people in this grade excluded because they already receive the same pay as their comparator. The same applies to some janitors because they got regraded after the strike and got their pay raised then.
Put it simply – if you’re an A4ES client and you haven’t received our excluded group letter then you will be getting an offer.
DEBT TRUST DEEDS
One of the issues that arose last time was that GCC made payments to people who had signed up to a PROTECTED TRUST DEED with external companies to manage their debts. These are very complicated arrangements which help to manage debts but have unfortunate consequences if large sums are suddenly received. Essentially the Trustee owns and controls all your assets and finances including, possibly, your equal pay claim. If this is the case GCC will need to liaise with the Trustee.
If this applies to you – we and GCC need to know as separate arrangements will need to be made. The settlement agreement will require you to declare this so the sooner we know the better. Don’t reply to this post as this is a public document, instead email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok that’s about it at this stage. No doubt there will be lots of queries once the verification letters are sent but we hope it will be a straightforward process.
One last thought – IF YOU DONT VERIFY YOUR DETAILS YOU WONT GET AN OFFER – so its essential that you follow the steps set out in your letter when it arrives.