Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 28.11.2002

Granting of Armorial Bearings to College of Pharmacy Practice 3.12.02

I attended the ceremony in Edinburgh where the Lord Lyon presented the CPP with their new coat of arms. The ceremony was interesting and provided a chance for some networking with other attendees.
Lord Lyon with Dr Angela Alexander, CPP Chairman

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Scottish NHS Committee Meeting 4.12.02
This was a special meeting of the Committee to discuss the Scottish Pay Concordat and to decide the Amicus-MSF response to it. I was unable to attend the meeting and so am grateful to Don Page for his comprehensive report of it, abbreviated below.

Michael Fuller and 29 delegates attended the meeting. Michael Fuller gave a presentation on the proposed Concordat. A compact summary of the Concordat was that NHS Scotland would implement on a national basis an agreement relating to staff at the bottom end of the scale, piloted in Lothian, in return for an agreement to drop all current and future claims for `class actions’.

The Concordat had been prepared for discussion by all staff groups in NHS Scotland, but it became apparent that the three major bodies, UNISON, RCN and Amicus hold the key to the Concordat. It was noted that the Chief Executives Group and Trust Chairs have publicly supported the concept of the Concordat.

Michael Fuller stated that the situation was developing daily, and with `Agenda for Change’ having being announced to the world, the Concordat would have to be viewed in the light of that. The meeting agreed that the subject of the meeting was not `Agenda for Change’, but it was mentioned along the way. The following notes relate to other unions and equivalent bodies, and known responses:

It was noted that most of the AMICUS-MSF membership does not fall into `low pay’ groups, but there are some Medical Laboratory Assistants that might be affected. There are also some staff members in A & C Grade 2 that would be affected. Michael Fuller had analysed the document and there were some particularly vague phrases, including `on account of’ and `reasonable period of time’. It was noted that the first condition could be interpreted as a `No strike’ provision. It would also invalidate most Grievance Procedures. There was also debate on `class actions’. Whilst there was little evidence cited regarding active claims affecting Amicus-MSF members, the whole concept was considered with scepticism by the present meeting.

The view was that the meeting had to come to a decision on the day. The overwhelming evidence was that the meeting as a whole was unhappy with the document. It was agreed that NHS Scotland senior management could use the rejection to suggest that a low pay offer had been rejected. The view of the meeting was that the low pay offer was agreeable, but the strings attached were unacceptable. It was agreed that if rejection occurred that the response should have some constructive elements.

The vote was unanimous to reject the Concordat. It was agreed that Michael Fuller should write a letter to Gerry Marr with the result of the debate, including a précis of the opinions expressed. It was agreed that discussions on current low pay should continue.

Agenda for Change:The meeting did discuss AfC briefly, noting that there are still substantial amounts of information to be released. There is a NHS NAC on 13th January in London. It was doubted that the meeting could take place without the publication of indicative information on sample jobs and sample salaries. It was noted that the consultation has to be completed in good time before April 2003 if the early implementers are to proceed. The time period could be as short as eight weeks, if completion and report is to be made by the middle of March. AMICUS-MSF will be organising road shows on AfC.

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Meeting of Michael Fuller and ASTCP 4.12.02

I was invited to attend this meeting which was intended to discuss Agenda for Change and ASTCP concerns over it. The outcome of the meeting was a request for a joint meeting with Bill Scott. This was arranged for 20th January but was postponed at the last minute. It is thought the meeting will now take place in February.

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NHSScotland Forum Meeting 6.12.02

A full report of this meeting can be found on here.

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Meeting of Association of Scottish Trust Chief Pharmacists 6.12.02

This meeting coincided with the meeting of the NHSScotland Forum and I was therefore unable to attend.

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Pharmacy For Health - The Way Forward for Pharmaceutical Public Health in Scotland

This document was published on 9th January and is available from the or here

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Pharmacy Human Resources Strategy

I have written to Mark Butler, Director of Human Resources, NHSScotland, to try to ascertain if there is a strategy for pharmacists. A reply is awaited.

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Pharmacy in NHS Education for Scotland Meeting 15.1.03

I was unable to attend this meeting due to a clash with the Scottish NHS Committee meeting. However, I had arranged for Jim Bannerman to attend in my stead. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so at the last minute.

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Scottish NHS Committee 15.1.2003

As this was the Annual General Meeting of the Committee, the following officers were elected

Chair: Bill Goudie
Secretary: Sharon Duncan
Minutes Secretary: Jim Ito

Scottish Executive Group (SEG)

West of Scotland: Donald Sime
East of Scotland: Shirley Johnston
North of Scotland: Gordon Stephen
South of Scotland: Alastair Mackay
Primary Care: Gail McCallum & John McLaren

In addition, the following additional members were agreed

HR Forum delegate : Ray Stewart

MLA Representative: Maureen Jenkins

The Scottish delegates elected to the NAC and OACs were





Helen McFarlane

Ian Forbes


Rod Bannerman

Ian Taylor

Radiographers OAC

Marlene Barrie

Geraldine Irvine

Clinical Scientists OAC

Gordon Stephen


Speech & Language Therapists OAC

Gary Withnell

Ailsa Paterson

Biomedical Scientists OAC

Donald Sime

Alistair Mackay

Clinical Psychologists OAC

Sheena Bailey


Radiography helpers OAC



Speech & Language Assistants OAC



Professions Allied to Medicine OAC



Estates Officers OAC



Scottish Executive Group: There was some discussion about the forthcoming senior reps course in February. Agenda For Change will be the main thrust of the course and Colin Adkins will be speaking. It was noted that there are now 7 NHS reps on the management committee of the Regional Council. Considering that the NHS some years ago were limited to a couple of delegates, this was a major improvement.

Agenda For Change: the timetable has slipped again and it is thought that it is unlikely to appear before February. There are still job profiles to be completed and a large number of those job profiles being revisited are Amicus members. The consultation period has also slipped and early implementers will not now start until June 2003. This definitely rules out April 2004 for Scotland and raises doubts over October 2004 as it has always been considered that 18 months was required. The consultation period is likely to be late February/March/April. Unison has a conference in April and therefore their consultation period will run into May. The NHS NAC and Full Time Officers have a meeting on 27th February by which time it is hoped that all the information will be available, although it will be close. Amicus wants to be the first to declare if members agree AfC, but will probably delay if it gets thrown out. There are political reasons for this. The result should be known late March/early April. The ballot rules and protocols are not yet available. It will be more problematic in primary care than acute hospitals.

Scottish Partnership Forum: All of the unions involved in the SPF threatened to suspend all partnership working unless some outstanding issues were concluded. There was a final meeting of the SPF which was attended by the Health Minister. Several decisions were taken -

1. The Organisational Change Policy was confirmed as permanent with no further review in the foreseeable future. Staff side are now to have a separate meeting with the Minister to discuss its extension to AfC. There was some concern over an apparent gulf between the position of the Management side of the SPF and HR directors in Trusts. It was noted that the position would be reinforced in the Health White Paper due to be published in February. There will probably also be a joint letter from the Joint Chairs of the SPF. Reviews of how much the policy is costing the service yielded the figure of £5m, which is a miniscule part of the overall budget. In addition, staff and skills are retained within the service and there are no redundancy payments.

2. Framework for implementing the Working Time Directive. The Report and guidance will be issued shortly as an HDL.

3. Advice on part-time workers and their entitlement to public holidays. No matter what days they work, part time staff are entitled to a proportionate number.

4. The formation of an 8 strong Partnership Support Unit at the Health Department.

5. Communications arrangements and improving the ability of members to keep abreast of new developments.

6. A letter on AfC had been circulated within the NHS. This contained nonsense and attempts were being made to prevent further distribution. It was agreed that it was not helpful and carried no weight whatsoever.

7. Shared Services. Under the review of management and decision-making in NHS Scotland, one of the groups was looking at Support Services. However there were also numerous other groups looking at sharing services between Trusts, between Boards and between the NHS and local authorities. Management have been asked to map out all the groups and subcommittees so that it is possible to ensure they all have trade union representation. It was agreed that the SNHSC would write to Trevor Jones, Chief Executive, NHS Scotland, about the lack of partnership working, consultation and involvement at the centre. It was not appropriate that the centre exhibit a different behaviour from that expected by them of Trusts or Boards.

8. Joint Futures. A decision had been taken not to set up a Scottish Staff Forum on Joint Futures. Apparently, management and trade unions within local authorities are uncomfortable with the concept. However, the programme will not work unless proper partnership exists in and between the NHS and local authorities. Concerns have been tabled, and it is likely to be a slower process than anticipated.

Michael Fuller will not be standing for the Joint Chair of the SPF again. The SPF meeting of 28.1.03 will decide the new Joint Chair. Management Joint Chair will be Trevor Jones. There are two declared candidates at present for the Staff Joint chair of the HR Forum. Jim Devine (Unison) and Billy Parker (Amicus-AEEU) are both in contention. Candidates must declare their intention to run by 17.1.03 and the election will take place on 3.2.03. The Management Joint Chair will be Mark Butler.

Amicus: NHS membership increased by 549 in Scotland last year. Therefore all targets have been met again. There are to be a number of changes following the merger with the AEEU. John Wall will no longer be National Secretary for Scotland as this is to be John Quigley. John Wall will become a National Officer in Scotland looking after shipbuilding and aerospace. Roger Spiller is relinquishing the post of National Secretary for the NHS in favour of Gail Cartmail, although he will carry on until May/June to oversee AfC. Discussions have started on Officer workload amalgamation within Scotland. There is a commitment that officers will work to geographical areas, and this fits with considerations of a possible office in Edinburgh. There was some disquiet and concern amongst committee members about possible ramifications of the discussions.

Health White Paper: Due out in February since the Civil service will be in purdah at the end of March. There are unlikely to be many surprises, but we need to see where the new money is going.

Review of Management and Decision-making in NHS Scotland: The first meeting of the Project Board would take place on the 16th January. Discussions will continue during the elections until probably the end of the summer.

NHS NAC meeting: The meeting had been reduced to one day and consisted mainly of reports. It was noted that the motion proposed by the Committee stating that members need to know how their votes would feed into the final result before voting had been agreed. The other motion calling on Amicus to campaign for a 35 hour week in AfC in line with its own national policy had been defeated! However, a motion to lobby the Scottish Executive to move to a 35 hour week had been passed at the Scottish Amicus-MSF Conference in November.

Pay Concordat: the Concordat had been rejected and a new low pay agreement has been tabled.

Senior Managers Group: A group was being set up at Scottish level to deal with Senior managers outwith the AfC scales. This will cover all managers earning over £65k.

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Senior Reps Course 4-6th February 2003

I will be attending this course and a report of it will be posted on the website once compiled.

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Meeting with Bill Scott and ASTCP to discuss Agenda for Change

This meeting had been scheduled to take place on 20th January, but was cancelled by Amicus-MSF due to one of the delegates being unable to attend.

Colin Rodden
17 January 2003

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