Delegates at next week's TUC Conference will be asked to join the SoR and put pressure on National Health Service trusts in England to stop them outsourcing vital services to subsidiaries and shell companies.
Motion 48, which was passed unanimously at the Society's Annual Delegates Conference earlier this year, highlights concerns that trusts are continuing to offload work to businesses despite being advised by NHS Improvement in 2018 to pause plans to set-up more subsidiaries.
The motion says, "Congress recalls these companies are set up to avoid tax and as a way of opting out of national terms and conditions thus reducing staff costs by employing workers on less favourable terms than Agenda for Change and worse pension arrangements than the NHS scheme."
The motion calls on the TUC General Council to "maintain pressure on NHS trusts and join with other health unions in calling for this pause to become a complete cessation.
UNISON, who are seconding the motion, have added an amendment acknowledging successful campaigns to stop 'subcos' in Wigan, Bristol, Leeds, Tees, Leicester and mid-Yorkshire.
The Society also want the TUC to support any union members taking action against the shell companies.
This year's TUC Congress is in Brighton from Sunday, 8 September to Wednesday, 11 September.
Motion 48 Wholly owned subsidiaries
Congress notes with concern that NHS Trusts continue to explore ways of outsourcing some of their workload to outside companies, commonly referred to as wholly owned subsidiaries. In the Society of Radiographers Yorkshire and North Trent region alone there are nine ongoing programmes.
Congress recalls these companies are set up to avoid tax and as a way of opting out of national terms and conditions thus reducing staff costs by employing workers on less favourable terms than Agenda for Change and worse pension arrangements than the NHS scheme.
Congress notes that in September 2018, NHS Improvement told Trusts to pause any plans to set up wholly owned subsidiaries because of concerns that they were being used solely for tax avoidance purposes. The impact on workers terms and conditions was not considered important.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. maintain pressure on NHS Trusts and join with other health unions in calling for this pause to become a complete cessation in setting up wholly owned subsidiaries
ii. support any union members taking action against these shell companies.
Society of Radiographers
Insert new paragraph 3:
“Congress congratulates those unions and their members who have fought successful campaigns against subcos in areas such as Wigan, Bristol, Leeds, Tees, Leicester and Mid-Yorkshire.”
Insert new penultimate paragraph:
“Congress is particularly concerned that since the pause, and subsequent guidance
from NHS Improvement, a number of new subcos have been established.”
In sub-paragraph i., after “unions” insert “and campaigners”.