There has been a formal request to set up an MTO network in Scotland and this will be taken forward by the SEG.
Recent ministerial statement by Alan Milburn
It was noted that the statement made the previous day only applied to England, a point made by a spokesman for Health Minister Malcolm Chisolm, who went on to say that an overhaul of management structures had just been completed. Michael Fuller pointed out that it is an English initiative following a number of other initiatives which have not been followed north of the border. There was some discussion on the effects of local variation of terms and conditions on Agenda for Change (AFC). The suggestion that 35 trusts would have total autonomy if working well would drive a coach and horses through AFC. The Committee is to write to Roger Spiller to ask that the NHS NAC have a meeting to consider the matter. No statement had yet been made by MSF although it was known that discussions between the unions were taking place that day.
The secretary is also to contact MSPs to ask questions in the Scottish Parliament. It will also be raised at a meeting of the Employee Directors (EDs) of the NHS Boards on 24th January. This meeting will also work on a development programme for the EDs.
It was also agreed to invite Malcolm Chisolm to the next meeting.
"Skills & Gateways: Career and Pay Progression in Agenda For Change"
This is a meeting which is taking place in London on 7th March. On the basis that limited information is all that is available at the moment, it is difficult to see how useful it might be.
It was noted that it is up to Groups and Committees to decide whether to invite colleagues from the AEEU section to meetings.
Senior Reps Course at Whitehall College
It was agreed that the May meeting of the Committee should agree the agenda for this course which will take place in December. There was some discussion on suggestions that the course should not continue or be run in Scotland.
A training needs questionnaire for senior reps was distributed for comments. It is intended to use the results as a basis for creating a training schedule.
Amicus-MSF Questionnaire on PIN guidelines
A questionnaire was tabled and discussed. It is to be issued to each partnership forum and signed by management and staff side. It will gauge the extent to which PIN guidelines have been implemented. It is hoped that the results will be presented at the HR conference in April. Senior MSF reps will be sent a draft questionnaire so that they can ensure that Trusts respond promptly.
Amicus Launch lunch
It was agreed to support the principle of having a lunch for MSPs to launch the new union and demonstrate the range of NHS disciplines covered by the union.
Protection under Agenda For Change
There was further debate on the problem of selling AFC to members if protection is reduced. This is a major issue which SPRIG will have to address.
As from 1.1.02, we are now the Amicus-MSF section of the new union. Office and officer e-mail addresses have all changed. A meeting of all officers of both sections has been arranged for 19.2.02 in London.
Agenda For Change
Work is still continuing on refining the three main areas - job evaluation scheme, harmonisation and pay progression. However, although many confidential documents are in existence, nothing is being issued as the whole process is still working under the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Unions will not agree until the Government has identified the required resources. The Government will not agree the resources until the public expenditure limits are decided in July. It will
probably be Autumn before there is a ballot of members. Reps should consider the likelihood of having to put all other business on hold in the Autumn as training on AFC will be required both for reps and members so that an informed decision can be made in the ballot. The SPRIG meeting in January has been cancelled. Janice Miller has been appointed as a full time Implementation Officer. Major decisions still to be taken include whether there will be individual appeals and on the weightings of the job evaluation factors.
NHS Scotland & Partnership
The Partnership Conference will take place on 25th January. Health Minister Malcolm Chisolm will be giving the opening speech. The conference will see the launch of the Staff Governance Standard which will be implemented as part of the Performance Assessment Framework. The Scottish Partnership Forum are to consider how PIN guidelines are converted into good practice on the ground and how the staff governance standard will pressure management into proper implementation. They will discuss next week whether the way forward is to split the HR and partnership functions. The partnership group will discuss what influence they can have on funds allocation and who decides service priorities amongst other things. It is a separation of policy and terms & conditions issues.
There is the possibility of central training for all members of partnership forums to ensure everyone is understanding is the same. Employers are to survey staff by the end of March as a benchmark against the staff governance standard. Surveys will then be taken at yearly intervals to check improvements.
The SPF is to visit South Glasgow Trust in March.
Pay claims have been submitted and meetings should be taking place this month.
Incidents caused by lack of sleep
Subsequent to the Selby train crash caused by lack of sleep, there was some discussion on whether members working on-call systems where they could be awake for up to 32 hours would be personally liable or whether their employer would be liable for any incidents. There was also the ethical question of whether someone is fit to be in charge of a dept. if they were not fit to be in charge of a vehicle. It was thought that individuals would be personally responsible in the first instance under Health and Safety legislation, but agreed that Michael Fuller would arrange for a legal opinion.
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