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2007 Health Care Service Group Conference
20 December 2006

Conference acknowledges the significant progress made by the union in recent years in improving pay, terms and conditions for the overwhelming majority of UNISON members working in the NHS. This progress includes:

·The Agenda for Change agreement that harmonised terms and conditions for all NHS workers (excluding doctors and dentists)

·An equality proofed pay structure delivering equal pay through an NHS job evaluation scheme

·Knowledge and Skill Framework (KSF) to provide opportunity for all staff to develop their skills

·Additional annual leave and more opportunities for flexible working

·Above inflation pay increases

·Two-tier workforce agreement covering contracted staff

·Security of a final salary pension scheme for existing and new staff

Conference recognises that, despite our differences with the current Government over policy direction for the NHS, this progress would have been very difficult to achieve without the political change that took place in 1997.

Although there has been considerable progress in recent years, much remains to be done.

Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to pursue the following immediate priorities:

1)An agreement on a harmonised unsocial hours scheme;

2)Re-launch of the Knowledge and Skills Framework;

3)An agreement on a unified and single pay determination process;

4)The conclusion of the reviews on national recruitment and retention premium, mileage allowance and subsistence allowances;

5)The completion and monitoring of the final ‘difficult to match’ jobs and their assimilation to Agenda for Change;

6)Updating of the Terms and Conditions Handbook;

7)Abolition of Band 1.

Conference further agrees that the priorities for the union on the Staff Council include:

a)Progressive movement towards a 35-hour week for all;

b)A resolution of the ‘Leap-Frogging’ anomaly;

c)A national Trade Union Facilities agreement to be included in the Handbook;

d)Review of on-call arrangements;

e)Progressive reduction in the number of incremental points in each pay band to a maximum of five.

Finally, conference notes that UK inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index reached an eight-year high in the latter part of 2006.

Conference agrees that UNISON should argue for a substantial pay increase in the 2008/2009 pay round. ‘Substantial’ to be defined as significantly above the rate of inflation. Conference also agrees that UNISON should continue to argue for any pay award to include a flat rate element for Band 3 and below.