Living wage in the NHS

Conference notes, at the time of writing, the failure of the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt to meet and negotiate with NHS trade unions in England on their pay demands as set out in the Staff side letter of 25th June 2014. Conference applauds the efforts of all sections of the health group in delivering […]

Parity for NHS Mental Health Services

Conference notes that although mental health is a significant part of the NHS, at least 20% of all activity, it is very under resourced. As a result staff working in mental health services are experiencing significant workplace stress as they struggle to provide high quality services to the detriment of staff health and wellbeing leading […]

Achieving a work life balance

Conference notes with concern that the goodwill of staff is being abused by managers to cover shortfalls in staffing. In particular there are concerns that staff are: 1) unable to take the necessary breaks in working hours; 2) not being paid for overtime worked; 3) being forced onto 12 hour shift patterns when they would […]

Use of Agency Staff

Conference notes with concern the increasing use of agency staff within the NHS to plug the gaps caused by sickness, unfilled vacancies and general staff shortages. In Wales alone, the cost of locum and agency staff in the last year was £14 million which accounts for 1.9% of the total NHS Wales budget. This is […]

Transforming Workplace Roles in the NHS

At a recent event organised through Clinical Commissioning Groups in Leeds, many NHS stakeholders including health, local authority, third sector and trade unions came together to discuss transforming roles in health and social care through integration. We were presented with NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. Amongst other things, this plan laid out the future […]

De-skilling the NHS Workforce – Running Down the NHS

Conference is deeply concerned the NHS workforce is being de-skilled in many areas. Previously agreed between the unions and employer Agenda for Change job description and person specifications are being ignored by NHS, wards, departments, clinics, etc, because they are unable to recruit employees with the qualifications, experience and competence the job description describes for […]

Pay Campaign – a pound an hour increase for all

Conference congratulates the Health Group Executive and the leadership of our sister NHS unions on the campaign of industrial action to defend the real value of NHS pay. Conference however is concerned at the exceptionally modest ambition of this campaign and believe that for workers to be encouraged to take action we need to seek […]

Keep Our Commissioning Support Units Public

Conference recognises that when Commissioning Support Units were set up across England when Primary Care Trusts were shut down by the coalition government. Their job is to advise local Clinical Commissioning Groups on buying health services for local people and they can be of strategic importance. The government is now proposing to remove Commissioning Support […]

Organising outsourced workers around pay

Conference believes that a major incentive to outsourcing is the belief that it is possible to obtain cheaper services by giving outsourced workers worse pay and conditions than the ‘core’ NHS workforce. Conference believes it is absolutely essential to submit pay claims each year to major outsourcing companies with the aim of achieving at least […]

Privatisation and the Primary Provider Model

The NHS Health and Social Care Act opened the door to wholesale and unfettered privatisation of the NHS. Conference is appalled at the scale of this sell-off. The NHS in England has also seen a proliferation of a new model of privatisation that is sometimes referred to as a Primary Provider contract. One particular example […]

Establishing Procurement Policies in Commissioning Organisations

The Health and Social Care Act has completely changed the way commissioning is undertaken in the NHS with commissioning decisions paving the way for increased outsourcing and privatisation. UNISON remains vigorously opposed to privatisation of public services. Conference believes that privatisation is taking clinicians away from frontline care as they spend increased time on tenders. […]

Recruitment and retention of ambulance workers

Conference notes the mounting crisis in ambulance services across the UK around the recruitment and retention of ambulance staff. This crisis is growing as more staff leave their jobs as paramedics, ambulance technicians and control staff to pursue other work. Over the last few years, the ambulance workforce has changed, as has the work itself. […]

Post Alemo-Heron Pay Bargaining

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 […]

Fragmentation of the NHS

Conference notes that the Health and Social Care Act has resulted in more NHS contracts being awarded to non-public sector organisations whether private companies or social enterprises. This has led to an unacceptable level of fragmentation in service provision which has a negative impact on UNISON members pay, terms and conditions and morale. Conference instructs […]