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RPA Health & Social Care Review of the Effectiveness of Communication The Trade Union Perspective Presentation by Bumper Graham Assistant General Secretary NIPSA 9 December 2008. RPA Health & Social Care Review of the Effectiveness of Communication. An often used anonymous quote

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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

The Trade Union Perspective

Presentation by Bumper GrahamAssistant General Secretary NIPSA

9 December 2008


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

An often used anonymous quote

“we trained hard … but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation”


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

The Main Lessons Learned

  • The need for the boundaries of the change process to be clear from the outset since this has important implications for communication;

  • The particular importance of face-to-face communication during a time of major change and the need to complement this with a range of other methods of communication;

  • The need to address the ‘people issues’ and distil communications down into ‘What does this mean for me?’

  • The need for appropriate infrastructure to be in place to support e-communication;


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

The Main Lessons Learned continued

  • The potential risk that major change, and job insecurity in particular, can have on staff feeling confident to voice concerns;

  • The level of change which is it feasible for an organisation and its staff to manage simultaneously;

  • The potential risk to staff well-being if staff are trying to sustain significantly enhanced work loads during a period of transition;

  • The importance of clarifying job roles across the organisation and promoting awareness of these so as to facilitate the development of new teams;


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

The Main Lessons Learned continued

  • The need for recruitment and selection processes to be, and to be seen to be transparent, consistent and fair;

  • The importance of examining the merits of different policies and practices in a collegiate manner before determining which would be the most appropriate to adopt within any new organisation;

  • Being aware that many staff will not have experienced a change on this scale before and recognising their potential need for emotional as well as practical support;

  • The Public service Commission and its need to consider what profile would be appropriate to its role


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

“What is needed”

  • Timely, full engagement with the Trade Unions;

  • Proper resourcing of the change process;

  • Absolute guarantees on no compulsory redundancies;

  • Early identification of those posts that are genuinely “at risk” under RPA;

  • Commitments to engage on procedures that minimise the location issue for staff;

  • A “clear deck” so that staff know which options, opportunities exist for them;

  • Clear, concise, regular direct communication, following TU consultation;

  • Full and unequivocal application of the PSC Guiding Principles


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

PSC Guiding Principles

  • First Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - An Effective Communication Strategy (Accepted by Government 7th July 2006)

  • Second Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Managing Vacancies Effectively in Existing Organisations (Accepted with commentary by the Executive on 17 January 2008 and a Code of Practice on the practical implemetation of this Guiding Principle will be available in due course on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)

  • Third Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations-Staff Transfers (Accepted with commentary by Government on 6th December 2006 and a Code of Practice on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle will be available in due course on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)

  • Addendum to Third Guiding Principle - Selection of Staff for Transfer (Accepted by the Executive 27 September 2007)


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

PSC Guiding Principles continued

  • Fourth Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Filling New or Substantially New Posts in New Organisations being created as a result of the Review of Public Administration (Accepted with commentary by the Executive on 17 January 2008 and a Code of Practice on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle will be available in due course on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)

  • DRAFT Fifth Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Voluntary Severance Arrangements (Views invited from organisations within the the RPA affected group. Revised draft currently under consideration)

  • Sixth Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Employer Statutory Obligations (Accepted with commentary by Government on 16th January 2007 and a Code of Practice on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle is available on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm

  • Seventh Guiding Principle - Location (Accepted with commentary by the Executive 27 September 2007 and a Guidance note on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle is now available on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

PSC Guiding Principles continued

  • Eighth Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Equality (Accepted with commentary by the Executive 27 September 2007 and a Guidance note on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle is now available on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)

  • Ninth Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations - Capacity Building (Accepted with commentary by the Executive 27 September 2007 and a Guidance note on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle is now available on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)

  • Tenth Guiding Principles and Associated Recommendations - Reoganisation and Implementation of Change. (Accepted with commentary by the Executive on 17 January 2008 and a Code of Practice on the practical implementation of this Guiding Principle will be available in due course on the RPA website - http://www.rpani.gov.uk/index/rpa-communications/rpa-circulars.htm)


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

Conclusions

  • Research only reached down from most Senior Level CX/Director to middle management grades - Trade Union direct contact with members in other grades highlights greater degree of anxiety and concern

  • Government has given a commitment to protect staff interests - it’s up to the employers to fulfil that obligation

  • The PSC was established as part of the process to protect staff interests, included as part of it’s role is oversight of the smooth transfer of staff to new organisations - the Unions must be prepared to utilise this role more so than what occurred in Health Phase I


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

Conclusions continued

  • Trade Unions must also be more proactive in engagement with members affected by the RPA, we too can do better

  • Trade Unions must ensure that Government and the Employers fulfil the obligations to protect the interests of staff by policing the process engaging with Government and the employers and in particular greater engagement with the membership


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RPA Health & Social CareReview of the Effectiveness of Communication

Contact Details

Bumper GrahamAssistant General SecretaryNIPSA Harkin House54 Wellington ParkBelfast BT9 6DP

Tele: 028 9066 1831Email: [email protected]: www.nipsa.org.uk


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