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Openreach: SMC Roles and Grading

20 February 2014

The National Team (NT) has been in discussions regarding the grading structure within the Service Management Centre (SMC) environment in Openreach Service Management. The NT has been supported throughout the process by Mark Elwen, Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for Openreach Service Management.

Discussions within the Diagnostic Centre of Excellence (DCoE) were completed last year, and since that agreement discussions have been ongoing on the SMC structure and progress has been reported to Openreach Briefing Committee’s (OBC). The negotiations have been protracted due to the ever changing nature of the work carried out by our members in Service Management. The NT has carried out detailed assessments in conjunction with Openreach through visiting a number of sites and spending time with our members discussing their roles and work mix.

Robin Fox (Employee Relations for Openreach) has written a letter to the NT that sets out the basis of the agreement reached with Openreach on the grade assessments carried out within the SMC environment. He has also provided job descriptions associated with each of the identified roles.

Ongoing Negotiations

In his letter Robin Fox says:

"... a programme of work is now underway to consider next steps in the exercise. This is a significant piece of work due to the complexity in the number of roles and the spread across the sites, however the aim of this work will be to, on a site by site basis:-

  • Consider the mapping of correctly graded people against the roles above
  • Potential to move the work to correctly graded people
  • Understand the implications of PPP or potential promotions

As you know we have some bold plans to build a new Jeopardy and & Recovery Management capability, including new teams on reappointing and case management. This will fit in with our new structure but it is important that we include these plans in this mapping exercise.

We hope to have this mapping exercise completed by the end of February and inform our people of any changes or training requirements during March. The intention will then be to be ready to implement these changes from 1st April 2014."

The NT has now commenced discussions on the mapping process. This will be a complex set of negotiations as the grade distribution means that there are both potential promotion opportunities and also individuals being placed on Pay and Pension Protection. As this process has taken some time to complete, the NT is also discussing the arrangements for backdating any promotions for those impacted by the agreement.