Pharmacy workers in Dundee are a step closer to resolution of their long-running pay dispute with NHS Tayside.
The Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) have agreed that the workers be given the higher grade Band 3 from the current Band 2, after workers claimed a “flawed” job evaluation process left them on lower pay than they should be.
However, the outcome can only be implemented for workers who are trained to carry out the full range of core duties associated with the higher grade.
Unite the Union, who met with NHS Tayside management on Friday, claim that the health board is refusing to agree to a programme of training and that bosses say none of the pharmacy support workers are fully competent across all areas.
NHS Tayside has refuted the claims and has said it does provide training to staff.
Susan Robertson, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite has called for an urgent meeting with STAC to discuss our serious concerns over NHS Tayside’s skewed interpretation of the job evaluation outcome.
“The fact is that the pharmacy support workers have finally won their fight to be paid at a higher band by the national board which adjudicates on these matters.
“But, we now have NHS Tayside attempting to obstruct its implementation by refusing to train them so the workers can receive it.”
NHS Tayside said it welcomes the outcome and accepts all recommendations and directions in full.
Responding to the outcome, George Doherty, Director of Workforce, said: “NHS Tayside has always sought to resolve this issue in good faith and had stated from the beginning of the process that it would implement the outcome of the STAC review.
“STAC has set out very specific recommendations and directions to both NHS Tayside and Unite and has sought assurances that both parties will now apply the job description according to these specific details. NHS Tayside has provided these assurances.
“Staff training is just one element in the STAC determination and it must be recognised that NHS Tayside does provide training and there is a programme already in place in the Pharmacy Department.”
Staff returned to work last week after after being on the picket line for 12 weeks.
Mr Doherty added: “We will be meeting with pharmacy staff to share the STAC panel’s findings in further detail early next week.
“This will allow us to set out the next steps which we will be putting in place to support them as we work through what the determination means for individual members of staff.
“It is really important for us to continue to work with our union colleagues and we have also arranged further discussions with Unite next week.”