Unison backs Retention of Employment model

Unison
has agreed to support a government model that ensures the majority of NHS staff
remain employed by the service in all Private Finance Initiative schemes.

The
Retention of Employment model means that most NHS staff including, porters,
cleaners, cooks, laundry and security personnel, will remained employed by the
NHS.

The
union’s health executive voted by more than two to one to back the Government’s
proposals.

The
deal protects covered staff’s employment terms and conditions and Unison claims
that staff will now not be at the "mercy of private contractors".

Karen
Jennings, Unison national secretary for health, said: "This agreement
means the majority of staff will remain employed by the NHS and remain an
integral part of the health team. For too long they have been at the mercy of
privateers in the health service who drive down their wages, pensions, pay and
conditions.

"The
model is not perfect but it does protect the vast majority – we see the 85 per
cent of staff protected as a floor not a ceiling. We will be negotiating
locally to ensure the number of staff included is increased.

"Unison
will continue to campaign against PFI because we know that it is a
fundamentally expensive option which penalises the low paid."

By Paul Nelson

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