Napo AGS has written to NOMS demanding a recognition that there is and has been a genuine performance issue with the Shared Service Centre contract in the NPS and a collective apology from the employer for the impact it has and continues to have on staff and employee relations.
Napo is also calling for ALL current overpayment charges to put on hold until the completion of an independent review of cases, including the accuracy of records and that the Employer considers writing off alleged overpayments, in particular in any cases where:
The union is also demanding a collective agreement around safe repayment plans where an over-payment is deemed to be genuine, fair and accurate and to a charter of core standards on payment and transactional HR support that staff and managers can use to challenge future service failures, seeking appropriate rectification and compensation from the Employer/SSCL.
Finally, Napo is seeing an urgent review of the safety of the SSCL contract in view of potential future transfers into the NPS as a priority.
The unions met with Sonia Crozier on Thursday to pursue our demands and has received assurances of an early response.
In the letter to NOMS, Dean Rogers, said:
“It has long been my assertion, from the experience of living through the torture of the SOP collapse that SSCL records are not reliable. As previously stated, in this period we had live cases where the SSCL could not produce an accurate record of what they had paid someone. If they couldn’t do it then it is hard to see how they can do it with any confidence now. This case shows they can’t with any reliability.
Further, we are seeing more and more cases where members are showing us that they were told at the time of the original errors that the case was resolved. You are reminded that pretty much all of the errors have arisen by either the employer or SSCL inputting the wrong information – i.e. the employer not paying the member correctly. None of the cases we have identified have been in any way the fault of the member of staff. In the vast majority of cases, the member of staff led in alerting the employer to the error and trying to rectify it – even if they were off sick or on maternity leave for example. In many cases, the member had to go through months of not being paid properly with SSCL adjusting pay each month up and down to “rectify” the error.
In such cases, it is more than perfectly reasonable for the member to then think that when SSCL tell them something akin to, “Corrective action has been taken and the matter has been resolved” this means it is over and settled. It is a shock that they are then contacted, some years later and told this is not the case.
As ever Napo is hoping to achieve an amicable outcome to this dispute, especially when we have so many other critical areas to discuss over the coming weeks and months. We will continue to keep members updated.