Airwave Banding Structure

Airwave Banding Structure

Following an intensive period of discussion, Prospect and Airwave have concluded discussions on the new banding structure and have mapped MPG roles to the new bands.

As you know, there has been a staggered implementation to this new banding and following the mapping of Personal Contract Grades before Christmas, discussions began in earnest with the union in order to understand what this would mean for MPGs.

We have had lengthy discussions to understand the process involved. Members will recall that Airwave utilised a methodology by which to score roles, according to 6 competencies. These included knowledge, specialist skills, people skills, external impact, decision making and innovation/creative thinking.

After scoring core roles across the company, the Bands were created enabling roles to be slotted in, according to their scoring. Scoring has been based entirely on job descriptions, and is focused on the role and not the individual employed in the role. This work was all carried out over the last year and there's information on Pulse for those wanting further detail.

More recently, MPG roles have been mapped to these bands. Prospect has been involved in this process as far as is possible. Dave Smith from the Prospect Branch has learned the scoring process which has enabled us to challenge some of the mapping, and challenge the scores associated with some roles. We have reached the point that we're largely comfortable with the mapping and able to publish this to members.

All MPG graded roles are now sitting within Bands E or D.

Challenging your mapping

As there are so many specific roles, it's not been possible to score absolutely every role, so we've focused on various key roles, this in turn helps slot other comparable roles in place. In which case, neither Airwave nor Prospect are saying that every single role is in its final position, and we recognise there are likely to be some roles that people wish to challenge the banding allocation.

If this is the case, you must raise the issue with your Line Manager in the first instance and seek their support in challenging your mapping. You can ask for the mapping to be reviewed, and ask for the rationale behind mapping your role in a particular band. If your role has not been individually scored, it may be that it is necessary to do so. Airwave HR have indicated that they are willing to look at roles where there are concerns raised, so if this applies to you it's important to note that this is not necessarily the end of this exercise. You might also want to talk to Prospect Reps Dave Smith and Terry Stonehouse who understand the methodology and process used, and can guide and support members who are concerned about their mapping.

Commitments to Prospect

There have been a number of issues concerning us more generally around this new banding structure. While we understand the company rationale about making a structure that's fit for Airwave and logical for the company, we're still not clear exactly what it all means, as there are no proposals currently around changes to Terms and Conditions or benefits associated with the new banding structure. That's not to say that there won't be proposals in the future however, and we've been seeking reassurances from Airwave should that happen.

We've now received a letter from Peter Bullock in HR which members can read via the Prospect Website, click on the link opposite which gives the union a number of commitments on this issue. The letter commits Airwave to consultation and negotiation in the event of further proposals.

In addition, we have questioned whether this new structure has any impact on our recognition arrangement, being that Prospect has recognition for collective bargaining purposes for all MPGs. Airwave have not yet wanted to align collective bargaining to the banding structure, but we have here a clear signal that logic dictates this may be possible, depending on how these bands develop over time.


We do understand the intention and rationale behind Airwave wanting to create a grading structure that is the right fit for this employer, moving away from legacy grades that don't mean very much and that even the originating employers have since moved away from (BT). So, we support this intention, but are obviously keen to ensure that this is achieved via a transparent and fair process, without negative implications for our members.

We've found this process useful and engaging, and Airwave have been very frank with us and open to our views and feedback. As stated earlier, we've been able to successfully challenge a number of role mappings to the benefit of our members. We've asked for commitments going forward and have on the whole received those. So we do recommend that members also engage with this and check their mapping. If there are concerns or questions, let us know asap.