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Focus on organising: Are your collective rights at risk?

If your trust does not yet formally recognise the HCSA, you and your HCSA colleagues’ voice will be absent from talks that directly affect you day to day.

This is a top priority for our growing network of local Hospital Representatives – HCSA members who have committed to act as local watchdogs.

Reps should check whether the HCSA is on the list of locally recognised organisations. If not, we can assist in the process of securing recognition.

The first step is to approach the local JSNC chair to ask the staff side to support the HCSA.

This should be a formality – after all, most of the staff side is made up of other associations and unions who, like the HCSA, are TUC affiliates and who we have worked with closely and stood together with on many issues such as the pay dispute last year.
JSNCs are usually most keen to have input from all their medical colleagues to strengthen their representation.

After the staff side has agreed, a joint approach would be made to the employer to acknowledge our addition to the list of recognised organisations.

Hospital representatives can then subsequently attend as many JSNC meetings as possible to join in collective local negotiations, and become a part of the joint staff side.

Most trusts also have a separate Medical and Dental Local Negotiating Committee (LNC). This, too, is an important body – its remit is the terms and conditions unique to all medical staff.

As such it is not the sole prerogative or fiefdom of any individual organisation, but belongs to all those who represent this specific group of staff.

Over several years our officers have provided local training to many LNCs on specific skills such as negotiation. HCSA National Officers should also be welcome as non-voting members of each LNC, bringing to the table a huge amount of knowledge and experience.

As local negotiation of terms and conditions becomes increasingly prevalent this will become more important in order to avoid abrogation of national terms and conditions.