Published: 16/01/2003, Volume II3, No. 5838 Page 6

The final Agenda for Change agreement is expected to be launched next week after lastminute wording changes.

Some of the crucial job profiles that will show where staff fit on the new pay bands are also set to be released, although work on other profiles is expected to continue into the spring.

Amicus head of health Roger Spiller said the Department of Health was 'bending over backwards to make an agreement now', adding: 'We have managed to persuade them that the number of profiles we need to put to our members is much more substantial.'

One source told HSJ that 'horsetrading' was also going on between unions and employers over how 'open' the gateways allowing progression up the pay bands will be.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists has become the first union to recommend acceptance of Agenda for Change to its members - but it is calling for an increase to the level of the threeyear pay offer.

CSP employment relations director Richard Griffin said Agenda for Change would give the union's 28,000 NHS members 'a better career structure', and place most physiotherapists in bands 6 or 7. Pay for some staff could increase by as much as 30 per cent over seven years, although hours would increase.