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2015 Health Care Service Group Conference
5 December 2014

Conference notes that as Trusts throughout the country come under more financial pressure they have turned to downbanding as a way of saving money at our members’ expense.

These downbandings happen as Trusts undertake service reviews, cost improvements or reorganisations and abuse the Job Evaluation Scheme as set out in Agenda for Change.

The Agenda for Change principles are set out to ensure that workers are paid correctly as the responsibilities the role undertaken demands.

At a time where the numbers of staff are decreasing and the duties undertaken by staff are increasing it is wrong that our members are having their pay reduced.

This downbanding is seen at many levels – Band 6 specialist nurses being downbanded to Band 5, Health Care Assistants from 3 to Band 2 and domestics from Band 2 to Band 1 – Band 1 which falls under the living wage.

Conference believes that once a job is banded that should be its minimum “band for life”, and that it should not be reduced at the whim of the employer.

Conference further believes that Annex X should be used in all reorganisation situations.

Conference further notes that Trusts are also attempting to enforce detrimental pay protection policies. We as a union must fight to prevent a diminution in conditions of service to our members and strive to keep the best pay protection possible.

However we should aim to obviate the need for pay protection by preventing downbanding.

Conference calls upon the Health Service Group Executive to:

1) insist in negotiations with the NHS Employers that they stop downbanding and adhere to Annex X;

2) undertake a study of downbanding to understand the full scope and nature of the problem and report to next year’s Health Service Group Conference;

3) use equal pay legislation where possible to prevent downbanding;

4) issue guidance to UNISON members who carry out job evaluation on the matters to beware of that can lead to downbanding.