Members back Agenda for Change proposals

The results of a ballot of CSP members in England, whose terms and conditions are set out in the Agenda for Change agreement, show that members are willing to accept proposed changes to it.

Members employed by the NHS in England and associated social enterprises voted in the ballot which closed on 21 January.

A majority (3,092, or 67.2 per cent of those who voted) were in favour of the statement: ‘I believe the CSP should accept the proposals as the best chance of maintaining Agenda for Change as a national agreement’.

Nearly a third of those voting (1,508 members or 32.8 per cent) said they agreed with the statement: ‘I believe the CSP should reject the proposals and I would be prepared to take action, including industrial action, in order to resist any changes proposed locally.’

The turnout for the ballot was 20.9 per cent.

The Industrial Relations Committee was due to meet on 7 February, after its meeting scheduled for 22 January was cancelled due to bad weather.

It will discuss the outcome and communicate its decision to other NHS staff unions. Unions, including the CSP, are due to decide collectively whether or not to agree the changes at a meeting of the NHS Staff Council on 26 February.

The majority of other health unions are still in the process of consulting their members.

In the lead up to the ballot closing, CSP stewards held workplace meetings across England so members could discuss the proposals before casting their vote.

‘These changes are clearly unwelcome,’ said Peter Finch, assistant director of CSP’s Employment Relations and Union Services.

‘However, we believe they do represent the best hope of keeping a national agreement and hope those trusts, particularly in the South West, will see sense and not seek to impose worse terms and conditions at local level.’

‘I would like to thank all the members who participated in the ballot and to the stewards who encouraged members to vote.’

If agreed, the changes will take effect in England on 1 April.  Full details of the proposed changes appeared in the 5 December issue of Frontline.

Lynn Eaton

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