Wednesday, 25 January 2012

States Jobs in January: An Analysis

When he was in the States, Deputy Paul Le Clare laboured in vain to get organisational charts for States departments.

This was one kind of reply

As members should be aware, Departmental Business Plans contain organisation charts which are updated annually and are available on the States of Jersey website.

but of course, those give only the basic structure, and very few fine details - and if more detail was wanted

"To help and assist the Comprehensive Spending Review, would the Minister provide an organisation chart of his department identifying every post, the post holder's duties and responsibilities, the salary grade and whether the post is currently filled or vacant and, if possible, if any of these post holders are suspended?"

The Deputy's request for the detailed information listed above has not only been directed to the Treasury and Resources Minister but also to the Chief Minister, Social Security, Planning and Environment and Health and
Social Services. Taken together these departments employ some 2960 staff out of a total of 6000. The Deputy is asking for information to be provided on each one of these posts. That would take a massive amount of time to collate and present in a meaningful format

In other words, no one can get a "big picture" and drill down to fine details - although Senator Sarah Ferguson did precisely that for the health department - not in terms of salaries, but in terms of positions for individuals, and produced a set of charts which gave precisely that kind of picture. It highlighted, incidentally, the large number of human resources posts at Health and Social Security - despite the States having its own centralised Human Resources department, and begged the question: what have those to do with healthcare?

But one of the results of this deficiency is that we cannot look at States jobs advertised and see the following questions. They have to be asked, instead:

1) is this a new position, or a replacement of an existing post?
2) if a new post, why is it required?
3) is there a major shortage in staff in a particular area, and what are the reasons for this?
4) is there any in-house scheme whereby people can be trained up to take on positions rather than sourcing from outside of Jersey?

It is interesting to look at the January jobs advertised and see any trends or matters arising.

There are an overwhelming proportion in the Health and Social Services department, including 5 senior staff nurses and one head of nursing. One wonders why there are suddenly so many of those posts advertised, and if something could have been done to address the situation by ensuring the previous incumbents (assuming they are existing posts) could have left in a staggered timetable. Instead, all seemed to have left around the same time. Perhaps advertising is a formality, because there are trained nurses who are looking for advancement who will apply, if no other applications are forthcoming? Or perhaps there is a serious staff shortage? Not enough being paid - even a Head of Nursing at £54,015.00 - a post requiring medical expertise and knowledge - people's lives are in your hands - is lower than the administrative posts. It's a topsy-turvy world.

Posts that seem to possibly be newly created include the Procurement and Contracts Manager (£52,775.00) and the Senior Manager Business Support Group ( £66,461.00) and the Data Security Officer (£58,004.00).

They are also notable for rather vague job descriptions, which suggest in the case of the Senior Manager, than there is no information technology strategy in place - otherwise why say "will determine the strategy". Likewise the Data Security Officer is "responsible for developing the States approach to security", which again suggests something needs to be developed and is not in place. 

It is most probably the case that the writers of these blurbs simply doesn't understand ordinary English, which is I suspect an endemic problem with people who work in human resources. Why look for the right word when the you've been trained and qualified to use ready-made but nonsensical stock phrases?

The legal posts all have "negotiable" salaries, which give no idea at all what the cost to the public purse will be of these posts. The job application doesn't give any details either. Perhaps you need to be in the inner circle of lawyers to know the code for what might be expected as a salary for any given experience, but it is hardly a good example of "transparency" on behalf of the States.

And for a really good "holiday job", the Law Officers department is offering a limited number trainee lawyers who are University students an internship for four weeks at £500 per week, which comes to £2,000. That's some holiday work experience!

Senior Manager Business Support Group
Salary:            £66,461.00 p/a
The Business Support Group Senior Manager will determine the information technology strategy of the Health and Social Services Department and oversee the delivery of the strategy.

Head of Nursing - Unscheduled Emergency Care
£54,015.00 p/a
Health Care Assistants (Special Needs)
Salary:            £11.07 p/h
Senior Staff Nurse - Gynaecology
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Intensive Care and HDU
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Private Patients Unit
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Senior Staff Nurse - Surgical Ward (Portelet)
Salary:            £34,870.00 p/a
Travel Officer
Salary:            £13.61 p/h
The successful applicant will arrange travel for staff and patients for Health and Social Services and maintain accurate accounts on an access database.
Assistant Legal Adviser (Children)
Salary:            Negotiable
The Law Officers' Department has a vacancy for an Assistant Legal Adviser in the Children's Section of the Civil Division assisting in public law work, representing the Minister of Health and Social Services in care proceedings.
Finance Manager
Salary:            £52,775.00 p/a
The Taxes Office is looking for a dynamic, motivated Accountant to join their Finance Team
Financial Analyst (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
A Financial Analyst is required to support criminal investigations through the research and analysis of financial intelligence and evidence.
Forensic Accounting Support (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
Intelligence Administration Officer (Home Affairs)
Salary:            £26,284.00 p/a
An Intelligence Administration Officer is required to process and input financial crime information and intelligence.

£26,284.00 p/a
An Administrator is required to provide administrative support to the JMAPPA (Jersey Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements)Coordinator and Officers in the Offender Management Unit.

 Legal Adviser (Police HQ)
Salary:            Negotiable
The Law Officers' Department has a vacancy for an experienced criminal lawyer to join the team working at Police Headquarters, advising the States and Honorary Police forces and appearing in the Magistrate's Court.
Procurement and Contracts Manager
Salary:            £52,775.00 p/a
Reporting to the Category Manager for Professional Services, you will assist with shaping the strategic direction of this category and lead on corporate cross cutting contracts for goods and services.
Taxes Collection Manager
Salary:            £47,375.00 p/a
We are recruiting for a Collection Manager to lead on tax collection strategy and debt recovery for the entire Taxes Office.
Customer Services Manager
Salary:            £37,098.00 p/a
The postholder will have excellent customer services skills and at least 5 years experience of delivering customer services in a complex organisation
Data Security Officer
Salary:            £58,004.00 p/a
The Data Security Officer will be the principal advisor and compliance manager for Data Security across the States, responsible for developing the States approach to security and ensuring appropriate compliance.
Trainee Planner
Salary:            £29,067.00 p/a
Applications are invited for a professional Town Planner to join our busy Development Control team, dealing with planning applications and related matters.
Anticoagulation Nurse
Salary:            £17.82 p/h
A Registered Nurse is required to work in our nurse-led dosing service within the area of anticoagulation
Pharmacy Assistant
Salary:            £21,484.00 p/a
Salary:            £17.82 p/h
A Registered Nurse is required to work as a Phlebotomist for our Private Patients Service.

Internships Programme
Salary:            £500.00 p/w
The Law Officers' Department is able to offer a limited number of internships to students who are in their second or later year of an initial degree course and who are considering a career in law or who will complete their law conversion or professional training in 2012. The internships will be for periods of four weeks and are available during the Easter and Summer vacation periods.

1 comment:

Nick Palmer said...

I've seen comment, a few times on the local blogs, that suggests that a significant thing wrong with how the States employ people is the HR department - over decades. Hypothetically, suppose they got a toxic/inefficient/ inappropriate bunch in to start with; the effects of Parkinson's laws means that the States would have got stuck in a situation where its HR function consistently hired the "wrong sort" as the parameters handed down to them by the extant top bananas, crossed with the aforementioned less than ideal HR people, reinforced any weaknesses in the civil service and weakened any moves for desirable change.

I remember someone I know who actually wallpapered their entire kitchen with rejection letters from the States HR dept despite being eminently suitable for the jobs they were going for. All the while they watched in amazement at the "characters" that got the first and second interviews...

I've seen more than my fair share of State's HR rejection letters too.