Protocol for Industrial Action 30th November 2011

Pensions UNISON News


Partnership arrangements in London are long standing, strong and built on the principles of good formal and informal working relations. The London NHS Partnership is built on trust and shared responsibility, while respecting difference.

With these principles in mind, there is a real commitment from partners to work together on contingency planning to ensure that industrial action does not undermine the position of each of its partners or affect patient safety.

This protocol sets out the heads of agreement between London’s employers and London Health Unions for cooperation and collaboration in the event of large scale industrial action. Partnership arrangements locally will oversee the development of emergency cover for the day of action and this protocol does not seek to replace these local agreements. Rather, this protocol seeks to promote partnership working and support employers and staff sides to work together to sign off contingency plans.

In recognition of Employers’ statutory obligations to provide safe services and Trade Unions’ right to take Industrial Action, the following protocol in respect of November 30th has been determined between the parties.

It is the responsibility of employers to take steps to inform patients, clients and potential patients and clients of the impact of industrial action.

Employers will be given ‘notice of action’ by those Trade Unions who have balloted, in line with legal requirements. This information will form part of local discussions to enable services to be planned effectively. Trade Unions nationally will provide this information. In the meantime it is not appropriate for employers to approach individual workers to ask them whether they will work on the 30th.

For the duration of the industrial action, Trade Unions on strike will provide safe cover. Organisations are encouraged to reach agreement locally on the definition of safe services.

The strikes will be held from midnight to midnight on 30th November 2011.

Employers will establish arrangements, taking into account the above principles, for the delivery of services based on the assumption that all members of the relevant Trade Unions will be on strike other than those subject to local emergency cover agreements

Where backlogs occur as a result of Industrial Action they will be addressed through local negotiation and agreement.

Members on the NMC and HPC registers should ensure that at all times they fulfil the duties placed upon them by the codes. The codes do not prohibit them from taking part in lawful industrial action.

Union representatives will engage with employers locally on issues around contingency plans and emergency cover prior to and during the day of action. These plans will take account of any wider issues brought about by other industrial action across the public sector, such as school closures or transport disruption.

It is important that communication is maintained at local & regional level between now & 30th November, and on the day itself. If employers are in doubt as to who to contact locally, London Health Unions should be contacted via the Partnership at

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