Post Alemo-Heron Pay Bargaining

Back to all Motions

2015 Health Care Service Group Conference
17 November 2014

Conference notes that the Alemo-Heron case has unfortunately broken the assumed dynamic link with pre-existing collective agreements for pay rises for members subject to TUPE transfer. We recognise that this means that unless there is a specific post-transfer agreement that binds future pay rises to the pre-TUPE arrangements that transferred members, are now subject to their new employer’s pay bargaining arrangements for annual cost of living pay rises.

Conference notes that because there is no longer a dynamic link that members subject to transfer from direct NHS employment are no longer automatically part of post-transfer decisions made by the NHS Staff Council or by the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) and so no longer add to our collective bargaining strength or influence with those bodies. Indeed most of our transferred members no longer automatically go into dispute with their employer as part of any national dispute over the annual cost of living pay rise in the NHS.

Conference believes that NHS pay and conditions should act as a minimum standard for all employees in the health sector and that our bargaining strategy should seek to ensure that our members who were formerly directly employed by the NHS continue to receive no worse a deal after being subject to a transfer than NHS employees. However conference believes that we also have a duty to get the best possible deal for all of our members and as such the level of the NHS award should not necessarily act as a maximum level of award that UNISON should either seek or settle on when making local pay claims and entering into collective bargaining on behalf of TUPE transferred members.

Conference therefore calls on the Health Group Executive to advise branches which cover transferred former directly employed NHS members:

1) to firstly determine whether groups of members want to be bound to the NHS annual pay rise on an ongoing basis and, should that be the case, seek to make a claim to employers to enter into new collective agreements to that effect;

2) or where groups of members prefer local negotiation of their pay rises, and where employers reject new post-transfer pay rise agreements, that annual pay claims should be made to employers on behalf of these members and that such claims should seek to ensure that the NHS annual rise is awarded as a minimum but that the level of the claim and any final settlement is not necessarily constrained by the level of the NHS rise.

Conference asks the Health Group Executive to ensure that branches are assisted in facing the growing challenge of local pay bargaining after Alemo-Heron and ensure that our health group branches are provided with appropriate advice, guidance and training.