The new operational services occupational group

Back to all Motions

2012 Health Care Service Group Conference
16 December 2011

Conference notes that the Ancillary and Maintenance and Administrative and Clerical sector committees will be merging to become the Operational Services occupational group. This new group covers a wide variety of different staff roles within the NHS all providing support services integral to high quality patient care. Many of our members within this occupational group have been transferred out of the NHS to work for the increasing number of private contractors who have taken over the provision of operational services within our hospitals and health centres.

Conference further notes how the Government’s current financial and reform agenda is having a damaging impact on the morale and welfare of these staff. This agenda includes:

a)The NHS Reform Bill and its proposed break up and privatisation of the NHS

b)So called efficiency savings that are undermining vital support services

c)Contracting out of a wide range of support services including

d)Cleaning services

e)Secretarial (including medical secretarial) services

f)Shared (Finance & Accounting, Payroll & HR, Commercial Procurement Solutions) Services

g)Family Health Services;

h)Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme and its dogmatic adherence to the marketisation agenda;

i)Politically motivated attacks on the roles of operational services staff that label them as “bureaucratic waste” and ignore the vital contribution they make to high quality patient care;

j)Cuts to training;

k)Redundancies and cuts in staffing levels.

UNISON is the principal union for staff within operational services but it is important that we recognise the levels of competition from other unions. We need to increase the profile of operational services staff within our organising and campaigning work and to recognise the diversity of roles. It is important UNISON uses the new structure to develop a UK-wide programme to engage with, represent and organise members within this occupational group.

Conference therefore calls on the SGE to strengthen the standing profile of UNISON among this occupational group and develop an organising strategy by:

1)Developing recruitment and organising materials;

2)Developing occupational networks which will encourage participation in the union;

3)Continuing to campaign against Government proposals that will lead to further cuts, privatisation and fragmentation of operational services;

4)Supporting the Our NHS Our Future campaign to highlight the damaging impact of NHS reforms and cuts and the growing role of the private sector for both patients and NHS staff.