I’ve been temporarily promoted at my day job for a while now.
As of today, I’ve been temporarily promoted for 4 years, 9 months and 6 days. In that time, I’ve led on several new issues within my team and worked my way to the top of the pay grade.
At one point, I even received an email congratulating me on becoming permanent in this role. It turned out to be an admin error, though, and I was advised that I was actually still a temporary officer.
My substantive grade is known as a Grade 4. My temp post is a Grade 5. Clearly, a 5 earns more than a 4. After such a long time in this role, it’s inevitable that the extra earnings don’t feel like extra earnings. It’s what I get month in, month out. I work in a team of five people. Only me and another worker don’t have work/life balance work patterns.
Unfortunately, I work for a council. I say unfortunately because Local Authorities have had their budgets cut for the last five consecutive years, and this is a trend that is continuing.
So, as the budgets get lower, the cuts get deeper.
Yesterday I received the news that I’ve been dreading. The temporary promotion will, in all likelihood, end soon. Probably the end of March.
It’s got zero to do me or my performance. It doesn’t matter that, for the last five years, I’ve gone over and above what is required from me to deliver on major changes. It similarly doesn’t matter that I deal with aspects of work that nobody else has experience with.
It also doesn’t take into account that the working processes I’ve introduced to my team in the last few months have saved the council tens of thousands of pounds.
It’s simply that they don’t have the money. Another worker from my team of five is in the same boat as me. She’s the other one I mentioned earlier, who works a normal working pattern. This is going to leave my team in a bit of a pickle. We had six people until a couple of months back. Soon, they’ll have 3, and some of them are part-time.
Naturally, I’m job hunting. It would be nice to get something permanent at a higher grade and not have to live, constantly aware that the post could end. This is, unfortunately, the nature of a lot of employment nowadays. I’m lucky that I have a permanent, albeit lower paid, job to fall back on.
So, from April, it looks like I’m going to drop back down to a Grade 4 position. In reality, that means a wage drop of around £4000 per annum. That is going to be an extremely difficult thing to have to deal with. You can probably expect to see blog posts from me in the future with headlines like “How to feed a family of five with cardboard” and “5 Ways to fuel your car with rainwater”.
Wish me luck….