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National Health Service (Whitley Council)

Volume 828: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he intends to make for remedying the National Health Service Whitley Council negotiating procedures in which management sides lack authority to bargain appropriate settlements with representatives.

I think the hon. Member underestimates the scope and responsibilities of the Whitley Councils: the number of different professions and occupations engaged in the National Health Service and the work of assessing the staffing needs of the service in terms of numbers and skills and settling the rate for the job. Of course there is scope for improvement. In voluntary collective bargaining changes are a matter for agreement by the two sides; changes are in fact being made and I am ready to help in any way I can.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations have been made by management sides of the Whitley Councils for the National Health Service about the functioning of councils; and what reply he has sent.

None, but I understand the management side of the General Whitley Council is considering possible structural and functional improvements for the future.