Privatisation within the NHS

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2014 Health Care Service Group Conference
27 November 2013

Conference notes that the now defunct South West Pay Cartel advised member trusts to consider ‘alternative employment vehicles’ as one of a number of what they called ‘pay optimisers’ to cut NHS pay and conditions of employment.

Conference further notes that one trust in the South West recently set up their own private company, of which the NHS trust is sole shareholder, into which they transferred their former in-house laundry service. New employees in the NHS owned company have been denied access to the NHS Pension Scheme in favour of a money purchase occupational pension where the employer pays no more than 5% of salary as a contribution. This NHS owned company have also started employing new starters on a worse package of pay and conditions which includes a lower top rate of basic pay, lower unsocial hours, worse sick pay and less annual leave.

Conferences condemns the actions of NHS employers who seek to bypass and undermine the national terms and conditions and pensions provision by artificially setting up such ‘arms length’ companies. Conference further condemns the attack on the pay and conditions on some of the lowest paid NHS employees.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)support branches in recruiting and organising to challenge NHS trusts and new private companies who create new two tier workforces within the NHS;

2)campaign and raise the issue with UNISON Labour Link to try to put an end to the ability of NHS trusts to be able to set up such private companies without those companies having to provide the same pay and conditions and pensions provision as the trust that owns them;

3)campaign for the restoration of the ‘Two Tier Workforce Code’ which was enacted by the last Labour Government but was repealed by the Con / Dem Coalition in 2010.