If she's so underpaid and I'm completely without integrity

(30 Posts)
MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 15:15:16

or any professionalism, why does she want to stay?

I work for a small part of a large public sector organisation in a senior leadership position.

A staff member (who applied for but didn't get my job, it's always been tricky) feels strongly that her job is unfairly banded.

I had nothing to do with the original banding, but agreed to review it. I have completed the evaluation process, including sending it to HR for an impartial overview and they have confirmed it's correct.

I've also said that if she is aware of similar roles elsewhere that are banded higher and can give me details, I'll ask HR to look at it again. (She can't because they don't exist)

All the similar roles advertised locally, recently are actually one band lower, some two bands lower, although it is hard to know exactly what the content is.

Now I am accused of having misled HR, despite reviewing and agreeing the job description that was sent to them with staff member - apparently I will have steered them to the result I wanted. So she's also accusing the HR director of having no integrity.

I actually don't really care, if the evaluation had come out higher I'd have changed it. I want it to be correct, not higher or lower than it should be.

I am this close to telling her that if the job is so underpaid and she doesn't trust me to run things with integrity she really would be better off elsewhere.

Hold me back?

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SylviasMotherSaid Fri 07-May-21 15:17:58

Sounds like she is bitter she didn’t get the job and will be the type to yap on about it for years . People like this are so draining .

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 15:18:44

Quite. It's been more than three years!

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MotherOfGodWeeFella Fri 07-May-21 15:19:02

Speak to HR for their guidance - which will probably be for her to raise a grievance if she believes she's been discriminated against. If you've done things correctly then you've nothing to worry about. She is aggrieved and taking this out on you because you got the job she wanted.

MotherOfGodWeeFella Fri 07-May-21 15:29:52

Presumably you emailed HR and the proof of what you communicated to them is in writing? She can make a Subject Application Request for correspondence about her if she wants. Let her do it.

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 15:31:23

Actually she has just asked for that and I'm quite happy to let her have it. It really is very neutral.

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minou123 Fri 07-May-21 15:33:48

I have worked with people similar, so I know what you are experiencing.

The thing is, unless she got exactly what she wanted, it was inevitable that she was going to complain and throw accusations about the result.
Even if you had managed to get her a small pay rise, it wouldn't have been good enough.

Unfortunately, you'll probably come across someone like her again.

For me, the way I have dealt with it is
1. Not get too upset about accusations as I know I have done everything possible, in a fair and thorough way, to help.
2. Ignore. If you try to argue back, it's just ammunition for her to accuse you of more things.

So if you tell her she would be better off elsewhere, she will accuse of bullying.
Just think it in your head grin

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MotherOfGodWeeFella Fri 07-May-21 15:39:34

Subject Access Request obviously! Just keep in touch with HR and have them confirm every step, etc.

Of course, you could go to HR and say she embarked on a course of harassment of you as a result of you getting the job she was unsuccessful for. Just a thought.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 07-May-21 15:47:06

"I am this close to telling her that if the job is so underpaid and she doesn't trust me to run things with integrity she really would be better off elsewhere."

Think it but don't say it, she'll spin it into constructive dismissal.

"Now I am accused of having misled HR, despite reviewing and agreeing the job description that was sent to them with staff member - apparently I will have steered them to the result I wanted. So she's also accusing the HR director of having no integrity."

Has she made any of these accusations in front of others or in writing?

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 15:49:34

WhereYouLeftIt

^"I am this close to telling her that if the job is so underpaid and she doesn't trust me to run things with integrity she really would be better off elsewhere."^

Think it but don't say it, she'll spin it into constructive dismissal.

"Now I am accused of having misled HR, despite reviewing and agreeing the job description that was sent to them with staff member - apparently I will have steered them to the result I wanted. So she's also accusing the HR director of having no integrity."

Has she made any of these accusations in front of others or in writing?

Yes, verbally to my boss. Boss sheepishly asked if I mind her seeing the email. I don't mind her seeing it, I do mind the context in which it's been asked for, but appreciate it's her right to see it.

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Timeforabiscuit Fri 07-May-21 16:00:29

Just to say I was on the other side of this, it was absolutely galling when you invest in professional qualification, but with no grade progression, and pay freeze for, well, forever, but then new responsibilities heaped year after year. Frustration needs to go somewhere.

The hard realities that promotion no longer exists, and you need to apply for external jobs to further your career needs far greater emphasis.

coronafiona Fri 07-May-21 16:08:25

Whilst I understand pp saying she's bitter and holding a grudge, etc etc, there may be another way of looking at it.
If she really wants to progress, it would be possible to complete a gap analysis with her and identify areas she needs developing. That way she at least feels like something good will come out of it in future.
I completely get that she's gone about this ok totally the wrong way though, I'm just suggesting a compromise without conflict developing further

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 16:09:34

Timeforabiscuit

Just to say I was on the other side of this, it was absolutely galling when you invest in professional qualification, but with no grade progression, and pay freeze for, well, forever, but then new responsibilities heaped year after year. Frustration needs to go somewhere.

The hard realities that promotion no longer exists, and you need to apply for external jobs to further your career needs far greater emphasis.

Yes, but that's the case everywhere. If you want to progress you need to move on. I was never going to improve my earnings if I'd stayed where I was. Even when there are internal opportunities, it's usually best to move, even if you end up going back later.

BTW she is really, really under qualified for the job and would be awful at it, which boss now realises, but I do think staff member was misled at the time and feel for her on that.

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MotherOfGodWeeFella Fri 07-May-21 16:10:08

Hopefully you didn't take out on someone else the way this person is doing though?

OP - be sure to formally record that she has requested and been given a copy of the email.

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 16:12:33

There isn't anywhere for her to progess internally, it's now clear she wouldn't be capable of my job, even if it became available again, there's no way she'd be a suitable candidate. She knows this too, she doesn't even want the job now.

This is why she's so desperate to have her role re evaluated, her only other option is to leave and similar roles in our sector elsewhere often offer less.

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MissMarplesGoddaughter Fri 07-May-21 16:14:45

OP - you have my sympathy. I worked with someone like this in a LA too. She was never happy, moaned all the time about something, but for some reason she never looked for another job elsewhere.....

Butterflyfox Fri 07-May-21 16:18:08

Minou gave good advice. Try to detach yourself from the emotion and stick with the process and the facts. It is natural for her to be disappointed and frustrated and that is for her to cope with not you. Ultimately she has the classic choice to love it, or leave it, since she cannot change it. Your role is to manage her performance and not her emotions. (And it’s worth acknowledging your own emotions about this before you let them go). Unless her emotions are interfering with her performance or that of the team.

Timeforabiscuit Fri 07-May-21 16:20:03

I understand, but the problem is you are fed breadcrumbs of hope that extra effort is recognised, otherwise why on earth would anyone bother working over their contract?

That comes back to bite further down the line, people want to believe they are useful and don't like change - she will come to the hard realisation eventually- but if you are future faking in a job it makes it harder all round.

WellThisIsShit Fri 07-May-21 16:32:15

Well, under these (very trying!) circumstances, it’s always best to think about consequences to YOU if you do this thing...

How will your life change if you do it? For the better & for the worse, beyond the initial relief telling her a home truth, an insight she really should have come to herself, if she listened to her own griping and took it to its logical conclusion.

What effect might your actions have on YOUR own career and relationship with colleagues?
And beyond, if this person bad mouths you outside the organisation where you work, is that possible?

Making a list of the risks and rewards may help you decide! wink

SofiaMichelle Fri 07-May-21 16:35:57

I'd be looking to get shot of her, ASAP.

Zilla1 Fri 07-May-21 16:42:52

Hold you back from "she really would be better off elsewhere". Don't send this as for a second's satisfaction, you risk months of trouble depending on the public sector organisation. You go from being on paper entirely in the right to risking a grievance. Just send an email to your line manager that the worker and her union representative would be happy with "Jane Blogs doesn't feel I followed this process correctly. I did A then B then C and Head of HR said D. grateful for your views so we can ensure everyone in the organisation has been banded correctly and feels valued" then vent face to face with your line manager if you must.

Good luck.

ElphabaTWitch Fri 07-May-21 16:47:38

You can’t say that to her. You know you can’t. You will end up being accused of bullying behaviour to get rid of her.

Dollywilde Fri 07-May-21 16:58:21

Just think, if you hold back and play this flawlessly, you might be shot of her for good. Hold your tongue and just let her be hoist by her own petard wink

MusicMenu Fri 07-May-21 17:21:23

I've got no actual intention of saying it -- but might feed the line to big boss who probably would--

Yes, I don't think she's too far away from burning bridges with big boss. She's basically questioning boss' integrity, as I was acting on her behalf. Boss does not take kindly to that kind of thingh.

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GelfBride Fri 07-May-21 17:24:22

If you do anything but stay neutral, you would be playing right into her hands. Stay grey rock. The frustration will eventually get her to leave hopefully. Don't let her bring you down with her. Professionalism all the way and she has nowhere to go with it.

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