asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, as representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will make a further statement about progress towards the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Bottomley report on the administration of the House.
A new Whitley committee constitution has been agreed between staff and management. The grading review of all staff in the five Departments of the House is now in progress and should be completed before the House rises next summer. Progress is also being made on negotiating recognition agreements with the unions represented among the staff of the House, but the Commission is not yet ready to make a statement on that matter.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the House will be grateful for that information about the implementation of his report? How long does he expect it to be before the review of the grading structures for staff in the House is actually implemented? Will he give an assurance that the present terms and conditions of members of staff will be safeguarded and that they will not be worse off as a result of this review?
The grading review is proceeding very satisfactorily and I hope that it will not be too long delayed. I have no reason to expect that any member of staff will suffer as a result of the grading review.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is some concern in the House about the time that is being taken to reach agreement on the new trade union recognition agreements? Will he look into the matter?
Yes. The unions have not all responded as yet. When they do, I hope to be in a position to make a further comment about the matter.