A foundation trust has backed down from a mass redundancy threat over new local contracts, while another trust has left the controversial South West “pay cartel”.
North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust had issued all of its 5,452 staff with a notice of possible redundancy if they refused to sign a new employment contract that would have ended enhanced out-of-hours sick pay.
The trust was one of a number looking to break away from the national Agenda for Change framework and draw up its own terms and conditions.
But last week it said it had withdrawn the notice and had “decided to accept” the new national proposals on Agenda for Change, which were agreed last month and come into effect on 1 April – they will also phase out enhanced sick pay.
A trust spokesman said it had also developed new guidance on sickness for staff and managers. “Sickness costs the trust around £5m a year and we are confident that the new guidance, if used as intended, will bring the cost of sickness down,” he said.
Last week Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust became the latest organisation to leave the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium. Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and Dorset County Hospitals Foundation Trust have also previously withdrawn.
The group, which now has 17 member trusts, halted its attempts to break away from AfC, in light of the national deal. However, it has threatened to re-start its work if fresh work does not begin on finding more workforce savings at a national level.
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