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Trade Unions (Non-Strike Agreement)

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will initiate negotiations to create a non-strike agreement with the appropriate trades unions within the National Health Service.

I stand ready to initiate negotiations for no-strike agreements with the appropriate bodies representing NHS staff, but there are few signs that any such formal move would be productive. Some bodies recognise that strikes are not compatible with the special nature of work in the Health Service and I welcome the pledges which these bodies have given, and hope that other groups may feel moved to follow suit. In the meantime, I await the outcome of the General Whitley Council's study of proposals put to it by my predecessor for a local disputes procedure intended to avoid disputes damaging patient care.