Published: 01/04/2004, Volume II4, No. 5899 Page 8

Unions leading 'staff-side' negotiations on Agenda For Change have promised they will not attempt to delay its nationwide implementation until after the unions have held second ballots.

The shadow staff council, which represents the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, and other unions whose members will be employed under Agenda for Change rules, is to write to trust boards to clarify its position on national roll-out of the pay deal.

There had been confusion after Unison said the delayed review of the 12 pilot schemes would mean its second ballot results would not be known until November.

The timetable for national implementation is due to begin in October.

Unison had previously told HSJ that it was drafting a letter to the Department of Health on behalf of the joint unions, requesting the October date be put back until the results of its second ballot were known.