Protection of Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions

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2010 Health Care Service Group Conference
18 April 2010

This conference is concerned about the growing numbers of staff who are being downgraded following organisational changes within NHS trusts.

Conference notes that UNISON fought long and hard to get a new set of terms and conditions in the health service. Agenda for Change is a UK wide, nationally negotiated agreement which delivers equality for all our women members working in health

Conference believes that in many cases organisational change is being used as an excuse to reduce the number of staff on higher bands and ‘settle old scores’ with staff who won higher bands in 2004 against the wishes of their managers.

Conference notes that staff who are forced to accept jobs on lower bands post are often expected to carry on working at their previous level despite being put on lower job descriptions/specifications.

Some trusts are also introducing ‘new job descriptions’ during organisational change to bring in new skill mixes, staffing levels etc. This behaviour by trusts undermines the whole basis of the Agenda for Change Job Evaluation scheme and must be opposed by UNISON.

Branches and members should be encouraged to resist such proposals:

· by recruiting (if they are not already members) and organising groups of staff affected;

· by using local grievance or dispute procedures to challenge unjustified changes to job descriptions and skill mix, especially as a result of organisational change.

Conference calls on the SGE to:

a)Survey health branches to see how widespread this practice is.

b)Give advice to branches on how to deal with new job descriptions/specifications, reorganisation etc.

c) Support branches in using local procedures to prevent undermining of Agenda for Change job evaluation and the downbanding of jobs.

d) Collect information about any successful resistance to downbanding of jobs, especially following organisational change, and disseminate this information to health branches.’

e)Raise the issue at a national level with the relevant management bodies.

f)Utilise Labour Link, the NEC and to put pressure on the government

g)Report back to the 2011 Health Conference