A National Health Service means no to postcode pay

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2013 National Delegate Conference
11 February 2013

Conference notes with concern and anger the threat to health workers, their families, patients, communities and our National Health Service that has been represented by the Pay Cartel in the South West (aka the Pay Consortium). Conference further notes the ongoing threat posed by NHS Employers across the country who unilaterally or in collaboration with other employers look to move away from the nationally negotiated Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

Conference expresses its extreme concern that despite the commitment of both the Employer Side and the Staff Side to agree at national level changes to Agenda for Change, and to work with employees and union members across the country to maintain effective and efficient national bargaining measures, a large number of Trusts continue to attack their own communities and staff by attempting to cut pay and terms and conditions. If this is not resisted, it will only be a matter of time before other service groups face the same attack.

Conference recognises and deplores that the Tory-led Coalition government’s “Austerity” agenda has contributed to this attack on our hard-working members, their families and our communities with a strategic failure to recognise the changing demographics and health needs of our populations, and to undermine the NHS by aggressive and continuing real terms funding cuts.

Ever since it was set up, at a time of huge national financial difficulty following World War Two, Conference believes that the National Health Service, and the staff that keep the National Health Service working 24×7, has been a foundation stone of our country’s national identity and an expression above all other of our national commitment and belief that regardless of class, wealth, race, age, gender, sexuality, ability or other personal characteristic every citizen of this country is equally entitled to the best health care that can be provided.

Conference therefore:

1)reaffirms UNISON’s fundamental commitment to a truly National Health Service now, and into the future;

2)stresses the central role of effective organising in resisting attacks on our members’ pay, terms and conditions, and reinforces the importance of maintaining and building membership density to maximise UNISON’s bargaining strength;

3)mandates the National Executive Council to lead and co-ordinate a long-term bargaining strategy to retain national conditions and to reinforce the value of national pay, with a long term approach;

4)requires the National Executive Council to identify and implement a strategy to enable the effective allocation and deployment of emergency resources to support branches on the frontline of such sustained attacks.