The national NHS Staff Council has overall responsibility for the Agenda for Change pay system and has representatives from both employers and trade unions.
Its remit includes:
- Maintaining the Agenda for Change pay system
- Negotiating any changes in core conditions for staff on Agenda for Change and reflecting these in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook
- Providing national support on interpreting the national agreement for employers and trade unions
More information on the NHS Staff Council can be found on the NHS Employers website.
HCSA and the NHS Staff Council
HCSA took its seat (observer status) on the NHS Staff council in June 2013, issuing the following press release:
25 June 2013: In a major breakthrough for the association and a sign of its growing influence, the HCSA is to take a seat (observer status) on the NHS Staff Council alongside all other unions, employers, the Department of Health and the devolved governments.
The HCSA request to join the NHS Staff Council, staff side, was accepted in March this year when NHS unions met to consider the union’s request that it should form part of the national staff side. The HCSA case – that it represents thousands of consultants and specialists, holds local recognition in a number trusts, health boards and in Jersey and is a TUC affiliated union and as such should be recognised by fellow trade unions – was accepted. The HCSA will be represented at its first meeting on 25 June 2013.
The NHS Staff Council is one of the key forums where engagement and negotiations take place between NHS employers and the trade unions. The recent collapse of the South West Pay Cartel was a direct result of the intervention of the NHS Staff Council.
The union’s membership of the NHS Staff Council sends a strong signal to employers that the HCSA is an organisation they can deal with at local level on issues relating to consultants and specialists. Commenting on this breakthrough, chief executive/general secretary Eddie Saville said:
“Achieving a seat alongside our trade union colleagues on the NHS Staff Council is a massive boost for us. I hope it will see greater collaboration between ourselves and other unions. Working together has to be the best approach as we face the challenges that lie ahead. We have already received encouraging comments from the Department of Health and NHS Employers. It will allow us to work more closely with the key industrial relations leaders across the NHS and will give our members far more exposure to national negotiations. In a nutshell this is a game changer for the HCSA that will open doors to wider participation and greater presence.
We will also bring unity to the NHS Staff Council. Our membership now ensures that all trade unions in the NHS will be working together for the good of the entire workforce. We have much to offer our trade union colleagues, and as the only union that solely represents the interests of medical consultants and specialists we will bring our unique skills to the table. On the 25 June when I take our seat at the NHS Staff Council, it will be a great moment for our union, but more importantly for our members. This is real progress and there has never been a better time to join the HCSA.”