RepsDirect No 261 - 22 April 2004

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

Agenda for Change - Update

Amicus reps/stewards are working hard on different aspects of Agenda for Change, within Early Implementer sites and the pilots in Scotland. Additionally Amicus reps/stewards are involved at Trust, Strategic Health Authority and country wide partnership forum in laying the foundations for AfC, subject to our union's second ballot which is planned to take place in September 2004.

Attached is a joint statement that sets out the agreement between the joint unions and employer representatives concerning preparations for roll-out. (It is important to note that there may be some variations in approach, however where this has been agreed by partnership forum in the countries stringent monitoring is in place.)

A crucial lesson from the EIs is that time must be spent as recommended by the statement on the necessary steps in preparation. Amicus guidance to reps/stewards will be published at the end of April and will be followed by training days in all Regions of the union.

In the meantime the Shadow Executive of the Staff Council has commenced the agreed review of the agreement, the terms and conditions handbook, Job Evaluation Handbook and Knowledge and Skills Framework. (See Page 6, Monitoring v, vi and vii, Agenda for Change - Proposed Agreement). The 12 health sector conferences highlighted many concerns of reps/stewards and the National Officer renewed the union's commitment to seek workable arrangements for priority issues, for example on-call and unsocial hours. In addition Amicus is intensifying our work to fill gaps on critical National Profiles, and with the invaluable help of lay members this work is progressing well. We will soon issue a new Status Report on National Profiles.

Amicus - along with all other unions - agreed that the interim results from EI sites, and on matching outcomes in particular, would be held in confidence until the end of the process. A similar agreement was reached in Scotland in relation to their four pilots. This has created a vacuum that is being negatively interpreted we believe partly due to the fact that the matching process is taking longer than was initially planned. It would be wrong for one union to unilaterally breach this agreement however Amicus is making the case for the sharing of more information subject to the agreement of the partnerships in place on EI sites.

Our thanks once again to all our reps/stewards who are working hard on behalf of Amicus members.

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