UNISON: the principal union for staff within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group

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Conference
2012 Health Care Service Group Conference
Date
15 December 2011
Decision
Carried

Conference notes that the PTA and PTB sector committees will be merging to become the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group. This new occupational group will cover a wide variety of different staff roles within the NHS.

Conference further notes that the Government’s current financial and reform agenda is having a damaging impact on this occupational group with services being cut, access to training being cut and staff morale falling. Conference is also concerned that staff within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group are becoming increasingly susceptible to privatisation. It is important that the union is able to actively engage with staff in this occupational group through all relevant channels, but also that we equip ourselves to share information and keep up with the constant set of challenges facing our members.

The emergence of the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group is an opportunity to develop a UK-wide work programme to complement the negotiating and professional priorities of the group. This will enable us to better organise and represent these workers at a national, regional and local level on a range of important issues such as:

• Modernising Scientific Careers

• The threats of Any Qualified Provider to science, technical and therapy staff

• The threats of down-banding

• The threats of NHS reforms, cuts and redundancies

• Extension of the role of the private sector

• Working in partnership with professional associations such as the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP), British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK).

Whilst UNISON is the principal union for staff within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group, it is important that we recognise the levels of competition from other unions. We need to increase the profile of science, technical and therapy staff within our organising and campaigning work and recognise the diversity of roles within this occupational group.

In order for UNISON to strengthen our standing as the union for all staff across the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group, Conference calls on the SGE to:

1)develop an organising strategy which supports branches to recruit, organise and retain members within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group and embed this in the work of the service group;

2)develop recruitment and organising materials for the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group;

3)develop occupational networks which will encourage union participation from the professions represented by the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group;

4)continue to work with relevant professional associations such as BAOT, BAPO, APTUK & CODP;

5)continue to campaign against Government proposals that will lead to further cuts, privatisation and fragmentation of services within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group;

6)support UNISON members fighting against privatisation, redundancies, closure of NHS services, downgrading of posts or other cuts;

7)continue 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.