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Trust to survey nurses on changes to Agenda for Change


A Surrey foundation trust is to poll its nurses and other staff on whether they would accept watering down their nationally agreed terms and conditions in exchange for fewer job cuts.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust survey will ask staff to rank a list of possible cuts to their Agenda for Change terms and conditions in order of preference. The list includes reductions to sick pay, annual leave, and enhanced pay for antisocial hours.

The foundation says it will use the survey results to inform future negotiations with staff unions.

Royal Surrey HR director Michael Pantlin said the NHS could not ignore terms and conditions in its drive to make savings. The trust has an £18m saving target in 2011-12, and £10m for each of the following two years.

He said the terms and conditions “were [agreed] in days of plenty and in order to protect jobs and, therefore patient care, this has to be a subject that’s put on the table”.

Mr Pantlin said the results of the survey would be taken back to the union negotiating committees, and he hoped to be able to go to the board “in partnership” with the unions on any recommendations.

But Royal College of Nursing South East operational manager Sarah Dodsworth told Nursing Times the union would ask its members at the trust to reject any change to national terms in the survey, and to refuse to complete the question relating to the ranking of proposals by preference.

She said: “If the trust is able to do this, others will follow and we’ll see the erosion of everything we fought for over years.”

Ms Dodsworth said that if the trust did try to force a change in nationally agreed terms against the wishes of the local staff-side joint negotiating committee it “could as a last resort lead to a ballot for industrial action”.

In April RCN congress backed, by overwhelming majority, a resolution calling for a ballot for industrial action in the event of “any proposal which challenges the nationally agreed pay agreement”


Readers' comments (68)

  • I don't work for them but I would put a score of zero in all of the choices.

    But then again will our choice be taken into consideration?????

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  • these forms should be put where they belong..IN THE BIN!!!

    do not allow our hard fought for terms and conditions to be erroded otherwise this is the beginning of the end for agenda for change

    dont be fooled by the "fewer job cuts" crap
    if they are going to make you redundant..THEY WILL!!

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  • rip the forms up end of!!!

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  • Tell them where to stick their forms, and if don't they honour their side of these nationally agreed terms, withdraw labour. Don't participate in this dismantling of our hard-won terms and conditions.

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  • God, these trusts really take the p---. Do they think we are so stupid as to roll over and let them have their way. It would be a very slippery slope indeed, and other trusts would follow. SAY NO!!

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  • Is this bloody groundhogs day here or is it just me? How many times do we as a profession have to say NO?!?!?!

    This has been discussed time and time again, each time the whole profession screams no, we have even voted for strike action if they threaten our pensions again, and yet they just wait a while and try again??? What the hell do they think will happen?

    For christ's sake!!!! I am sick and tired of this! I know they are determined to cut our pay and all of our benefits/increments/pensions but this is taking the piss!

    This trust can stick their survey up it's arse. They want to keep threatening us, I say it is time for us to do the same to them. Strike, now. There IS no alternative. Are you listening Carter? Pull your finger out and call for a ballot! Now!

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  • Dont be fooled by these false promises and attempts to make you consider other staff. Trusts will do what they want regardless of our views

    We need to be strong , threaten work to rule and fight to make them honour our AFC contracts, which they designed and negotiated when it suited them !!

    Make sure you answer their survey BUT the way you want, add in the correct answers NO TO AFC CHANGES, NO TO INCREMENT FREEZE AND HONOUR THE PREVIOUS PENSION REVIEW .


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  • Adrian Bolt

    I think Mr Pantlin has got it spot on. NHS terms and conditions were made in a time of plenty and if Job losses are to be avoided costs will have to be cut. A significant part of any Trusts expenditure is the wage bill so if the people on this forum who are so determined to save the service they say they care about so much the selfless thing to do would be to accept a pay cut so that ALL of us keep our jobs. Rather than advocating strike/ industrial action which can only have a negative impact on the service being delivered while doing nothing to cut costs.

    Public sector pay in the UK has risen faster than in the private sector and is now a 30% more than equivalent workers in the private sector when based on hourly pay and 16.5% higher for salaried workers. So how about this for an Idea? A 10% pay cut for ALL public sector workers to reduce government borrowing which is in effect OUR borrowing. In April alone the country borrowed a whopping £10b and and WE are set as a nation to borrow a total of £145.9b for 2010/ 2011 down from an eye watering £156.5b in the same period last year.

    Public sector debt (excluding financial bail out of the banks last year) was £910.1b or 60% of GDP at the end of April so before anyone starts on the Wah wah, fat cat bankers, all their fault, should have let the banks fail routine, the public finances were already in a pretty shocking state before RBS and Lloyds went tits up and had to be bailed out by the Chancellor.

    It’s like when you buy a car on finance or over extend your self on the mortgage. When you loose your job or the overtime dries up and you can’t make the payments the car and then the house get repossessed unless you can cut your outgoings. (Anyone notice the number of 2010 & 2011 second hand cars sat on garage forecourts up for sale at the moment?)

    Well that is how it is with the country as a whole, cut costs or large parts of the state will get repossessed. Take a look at Greece, if they don’t manage to force through an austerity package they will have to sell off large parts of their public sector or risk defaulting on their loans and having the entire country go bankrupt. And if you think that is a good idea take a look at what happened in Germany after the last war. Hyperinflation any one? Nein Danke!

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  • Strike

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