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Social enterprise agrees new nurse pay deal with unions

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A social enterprise delivering NHS services in the South West of England is introducing an improved pay and rewards package, following consultation with union representatives and its staff.

Bristol Community Health, which spun out from the NHS three years ago, is offering a new package which closely mirrors Agenda for Change, including a 1% pay rise for staff, as well as access to the NHS pension.

The social enterprise, which delivers over 35 community-based services in and around Bristol, has over 1,100 staff including 800 frontline nurses, therapists and healthcare assistants.

“We have agreed an improved, standardised pay and rewards package which all staff can opt into”

Penny Phillpotts

The package was agreed following consultation with staff and negotiation with the organisation’s Joint Consultative Negotiating Committee (JCNC), involving represents from the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite and others.  

Penny Phillpotts, the social enterprise’s HR Director, said Bristol Community Health wanted its staff to be “rewarded fairly and equitably”.

Staff at the social enterprise had found themselves with different terms and conditions depending on whether they were transferred from the NHS –under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations – when the new organisation was created or had subsequently joined it at a later date.  

“Following our spin out from the NHS, we were left with a legacy two-tier pay and rewards package, with TUPE’d staff benefitting from Agenda for Change rates and access to the NHS pension,” said Ms Phillpotts.

Bristol Community Care

Penny Phillpotts

“After large-scale consultation with staff and positive negotiation with our JCNC, which took a partnership approach, we have agreed an improved, standardised pay and rewards package which all staff can opt into,” she said. “We are now well underway with the implementation of the new terms.”

Debra Nicholson, a JCNC union representative from the Royal College of Nursing, said the deal had demonstrated how “good partnership working” between unions and employers could lead to “great outcomes for staff”.

“Our negotiations led to improvements on the original package, including paid emergency leave for carers, and a principle of ‘no detriment’ for anyone who would be worse off once statutory mileage rate changes were applied consistently across the organisation,” she said.

“We look forward to further partnership work with Bristol Community Health in the future,” she added.

Bristol Community Health is a not-for-profit social enterprise owned by employee shareholders. All surpluses made by the organisation are reinvested back into services.

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