Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 12.6.2003

Scottish NHS Committee Meeting 21.5.03

Scottish Executive Group: SEG has met twice since the last SNHSC meeting. There has been discussion on the proposed Amicus Rule Book and the three Health seats and one Regional seat for Scotland on the NEC. They are also to consider the necessary changes to Amicus groups to cope with the changing structures within the NHS in Scotland. The Regional Council Education & Training subcommittee has verbally agreed to fund a course in 2004. There was a suggestion that next years course be a four-day event with the added day involving the senior reps of the future. It was noted that Regional Council meetings have changed to taking place bi-monthly and that, as from August, there would be a report from the Health Group at every full meeting.

Agenda For Change:It was reported that 78.9% of the first ballot vote had said yes to proceeding to early implementation from June 1st. There had been a turnout of 41.8%. There is still a need to get up to date home addresses for members. If any member did not get a ballot paper, it is important that they let me know so that the reason for the omission can be ascertained and rectified and they get a vote on the whole package.

There was a report of a staff side meeting which covered
Union ballots - most of the small single profession unions had completed their balloting and voted yes for early implementation of AfC. The exception was the Society of Radiographers which rejected the proposals. The Unison ballot result will be known on 2nd June has to be ratified by its national executive which meets on 6th June. The next Central Negotiating Committee meeting is on 11th June.

Monitoring of early implementers - it was proposed that common data should be obtained from each early implementer site for the CNG on a regular basis. The information would include the evaluation criteria identified in the AfC proposals and also give details on staffside reps facilities and capacity.

Job profiles  - these fall into a number of categories :

  • profiles which have been published in volume 1 of the JE handbook
  • profiles which have been agreed and are currently posted on the DoH website
  • profiles under active consideration for national agreement
  • profiles which have been referred back to JEWP
  • profiles where work has yet to be completed
  • posts which can be identified as opportunities for national profiles from work done in the EIs

It has been agreed that there must be some way to inform EIs of the work being done by the JEWP on national profiles to avoid unnecessary local duplication.

There is still an opportunity to establish national profiles and the early implementation process should produce a large selection for October 2004.

One of the main items on the agenda for the meeting on 14th May was the membership of SPRIG. It needs to change with the appointment of 3 Pay Directors to the Pay Modernisation Unit. There is also the need for some NHS Board Chief Executives. It also needs to establish the link with the Human Resources Forum, which is a problem since Unison is not taking part in the HRF. SPRIG will evolve into the implementation Group if AfC is agreed. It was noted that there has been a decision that no further variation orders will be issued within the system until AfC has been implemented. Although a lot of the work around matching will be done at local level, it will be checked against UK and Scottish results to ensure no major anomalies. It has been proposed that there should be joint chairs of the Group.

4 areas are to be written to see if they are willing to be virtual early implementers. These are

  • West Lothian Trust - the only integrated trust in Scotland
  • Golden Jubilee Hospital - because of new roles within old job titles
  • Highlands Primary Care - to consider rural and remote areas
  • Common Services Agency - there is a massive exercise around job evaluation there anyway.

The four Trusts have to respond by 11th June on whether they wish to go ahead or not. The idea of having virtual EIs has been triggered by the move to Foundation Hospital status by many Trusts in England. The NHS south of the border in 2 years may look nothing like what we want it to look like in Scotland.

All Trusts, including the above four, will have to prepare a model plan for implementation, linking up with the NHS Boards. Each NHS Board will have to set up a Project Board, appoint a Project Manager and develop a project plan. The lead positions on job evaluation, harmonisation and the knowledge and skills framework then need to be appointed on a partnership basis. These plans have to be prepared by July/August. There also need to be at least two matching panels set up. These will be set up with two managers and two staff side members. There is no majority and the committee must decide by consensus. The members will almost certainly need to be part of the project team. There can also be specialist input into the process. It is anticipated that the bulk of the work will have to be done this year. SPRIG will examine the plans to ensure there are no obvious anomalies. The expectation is that 80-90% of jobs in Scotland will be matched by a national profile. Members must be made aware that if they are matched to a certain band, but low down in the band, they will have little possibility of moving into a higher band. They must also be aware that rematching of a post which just makes it into a higher band could mean that it scores lower and ends up in a lower band.

The majority of training will be cascaded. There are national training teams, but it will be difficult to train everyone. In Scotland, locally will mean NHS Board, although in some cases it might mean NHS Scotland.

There will need to be a new Job Evaluation Handbook published before 1st October 2004 and the Knowledge and Skills framework will need to be tested. In addition, there are other developments such as Occupational Standards for some professions which cut across this. The key to the second vote will be terms and conditions, and the key to this is likely to be on-call and out-of-hours. The early implementers review, which takes place before the next vote, will give an opportunity to change some of the package.

Scottish Partnership Forum (SPF): The SPF had had its first meeting in the new format. James Kennedy (RCN) was co-chair with Trevor Jones. The agenda is fairly open as they are still exploring the links with the Human Resources Forum (HRF). The role and membership of the SPF is also to be looked at. The SPF should, eventually, be the prime body to which the Minister and Health Department take formulated policy for first impressions, but this is likely to take time.

Human Resources Forum (HRF): The first item on the agenda is the PIN Guidelines and re-establishing the role and future programme of the PIN Board. Two new guidelines were launched at the HR conference and the review process has started on the first six published in January 2001. There is a major problem with Trusts not implementing the guidelines and having no intention of doing so. The Minister has said the guidelines are mandatory but did not specify a timetable. This may be corrected by the PIN Board and Staff Surveys, the Accountability Review and the Performance Assessment Framework.

The HRF also has to agree its work programme which will include AfC, joint futures and shared services.

Amicus: he new rule book is out for consideration. This will be discussed at Conference in June. If Conference ratifies the rule book then there will be full integration of the union by the end of the year and an acceleration of talks with Unifi.

Recruitment: It was reported that recruitment figures across Scotland for the first four months of the year achieved targets.

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Agenda for Change
I attended a meeting of the Group of Six on 2nd May to consider the latest information available and to finalise the programme for the Early Implementers Training Day on May 6th. This meeting also devised the GHP position statement on the AfC ballot.

Due to other commitments, I was unable to attend the EI training day.

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Agenda For Change Presentation 13.5.03

I was asked to present to the members in Ayrshire and Arran on Agenda for Change and used the slides used by Ron Pate and Tony West at the Annual National Conference with a couple of additions of Scotland specific information. The meeting was well attended and useful.

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Membership Database

During the period March to May I attempted to ensure that the information held on the membership database was as accurate as possible, pre-ballot. To this end, reps and contacts all over Scotland were asked to confirm home addresses for members. The majority of this information was returned, with only a couple of Trusts omitted. This also tied in with an Amicus drive to obtain home addresses for all those members listed with a hospital department address. I would like to acknowledge the considerable assistance of both Karen Slater in the Glasgow office and Ashraf Choudhary in the membership department with this project.

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Meeting with Chief Pharmacist

The meeting with Bill Scott in April was cancelled due to the elections for the Scottish Parliament. A rescheduled meeting in May also had to be postponed, as the Health Department met with the new Ministerial team. A new date is awaited.

Colin Rodden
8 June 2003

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