WORKFORCE: A community services provider which spun out of the NHS three years ago has announced new terms for all its staff including a 1 per cent pay rise and access to the NHS pension.

Bristol Community Health, a social enterprise which delivers over 35 NHS services in the Bristol area, is to offer a package to its 1,100 staff which it says closely mirrors the NHS Agenda for Change framework.

All staff, with the exception of board directors, are now eligible for the pay increase, which is backdated from April 2014. Staff will be able to stick with their existing terms but a spokeswoman for the organisation said they expected the majority to opt for the new deal.

The package was agreed following consultation with union representatives and the wider staff team.

Negotiations were carried out through the organisation’s joint consultative negotiating committee, a union committee involving representatives from the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite, the British Medical Association and a number of smaller professional bodies.

Bristol Community Health human resources director Penny Phillpotts, said the organisation had been left with a “legacy two tier pay and rewards package” with staff who transferred from the NHS under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations benefitting from Agenda for Change rates and access to the NHS pension not available to new recruits.

“After large scale consultation with staff and positive negotiation with our joint consultative negotiating committee…we have agreed an improved, standardised pay and rewards package which all staff can opt into,” she added.

Debra Nicholson, a union representative on the negotiating committee, said: “This project clearly shows how good partnership working between unions and employers can lead to great outcomes for staff.

“The [committee] worked hard to secure this deal for all staff, and our negotiations led to improvements on the original package, including paid emergency leave for carers.”

“We look forward to further partnership work with Bristol Community Health in the future.”