National Health Service Employees (Agenda for Change)

Part of Health and Wellbeing – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 28 June 2007.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 2:15, 28 June 2007

Andy Kerr may be interested if I update him on the progress that has been made towards assimilation and the payment of arrears. Ninety per cent of those who have been job matched—124,000 staff—have been assimilated and are being paid on agenda for change pay scales. In addition, 77,000 staff—nearly 60 per cent of those who have been job matched and assimilated—have been assessed for arrears and have had arrears paid where appropriate.

Uncharacteristically, I agree with Andy Kerr on the other issue that he raised. Agenda for change is a package of modernised terms and conditions. I do not underestimate for a minute the value of pay, but there are significant non-pay benefits in the new arrangements, for example relating to annual leave and working hours. In addition, agenda for change was designed to improve all aspects of equal opportunity and diversity, especially in the area of careers and training opportunities. As the biggest of the NHS pay modernisation schemes, it is well on track.