Defending Agenda for Change

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Conference
2014 Health Care Service Group Conference
Date
27 November 2013
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the coalition government has increased the financial pressure on health organisations. Cuts that were earmarked for 2015/2016 have been brought forward so that the health economy now has to make a further £500 million in saving in 2014/15 on top of the savings already demanded.

It is likely that Trusts and other NHS organisations will attempt to make these savings from staff pay and terms and conditions.

Conference notes that following a branch consultation exercise, an amendment to Agenda for Change in England was agreed.

NHS employers are calling for further changes and have argued that even the government’s 1% public sector pay award should be withheld until the trade unions agree to further changes to the national terms and conditions of service. It is also recognised that some employers will attempt to seek local agreements to reduce the provisions of Agenda for Change in an attempt to make savings.

Conference rejects this unacceptable coercion by the employers and the government.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)seek agreement with the other staff side organisations to send a joint letter to the employers rejecting their crude attempts to coerce NHS trade unions;

2)remind branches that they should not agree to local approaches from employers to reduce any of the provisions of Agenda for Change;

3)to review and re-issue the guidance and training materials on ‘Defending Agenda for Change’;

4)should the employers move to impose changes to the National Scheme of Terms and Conditions, branches will be immediately consulted on an appropriate response which could include industrial action, within UNISON’s Industrial Action rules.