Agenda for Change and the Two-Tier Workforce

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2005 Health Care Service Group Conference
30 December 2004

Conference notes the strategy being pursued by the Health Group Executive and Private Contractors Unit to ensure Agenda for Change is implemented by private contractors. Conference is also aware of other pressure to end the two-tier workforce in health and that last year’s Composite J called on the Health Group Executive to negotiate a deal along the lines of the Local Government agreement to ensure that NHS terms and conditions are mandatory in all future contracts.

Conference notes that there are several groups of members affected by this strategy:

1.Staff transferred from the NHS to the private sector covered by TUPE legislation;

2.Staff employed by private contractors on existing outsourced contracts, before any new agreement (similar to that achieved in Local Government) takes effect – but not covered by a TUPE transfer arrangement, because they were new starters post transfer;

3.Staff employed by private contractors, but who may not be affected by any potential agreement to end the two-tier workforce (if it is limited to England), e.g. in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland;

4.Staff employed by private contractors, post any new agreement to end the two-tier workforce;

5.Staff employed in PFI projects but not covered by the Retention of Employment model.

Conference calls on the Health Group Executive to ensure that the strategy to end the two-tier workforce in health addresses the needs of all members employed by private contractors, in all four countries. Branches have a key role to play in recruiting and organising these members and should be included in the development as well as implementation of the strategy.