Protocols for Managing Business of the Main Committee and Short Life Working Groups
STAC will have a tripartite secretariat made up of neutral officials appointed from the Scottish Executive and nominated individuals from the staff and employer side. For the sake of clarity, the Executive personnel shall be known as the “administrative secretariat” with the staff and employer side representatives referred to as the “staff secretariat” and “employer secretariat” respectively.
It will be the administrative secretariat’s role to make arrangements for meetings, produce minutes and facilitate the general workings of the Committee. All papers pertaining to the work of the Committee, including its sub-groups, should be copied to the administrative secretariat, part of whose duty will be to keep records, track progress on issues and finalise with the staff and employer secretariats the form of words to be used for communications to the service through HDLs, or other appropriate means.
Process for placing items on STAC agenda
As a negotiating Committee, STAC will place emphasis on the correct protocol for bringing issues to the table and on giving all sides reasonable time for reflection and preparation.
The staff and employer side chairs shall together decide on the agenda for each STAC meeting supported by their respective secretariats. The agenda will be decided at a pre-meeting convened between the chairs and the secretariats.
All members wishing to place items on the agenda for discussion at STAC shall do so through their respective secretariats.
The staff and employer secretariats will inform the administrative secretariat of prospective items for the agenda a week before the pre-meeting and the administrative secretariat will share this information with the other side so that all parties will have a reasonable opportunity to consider each item and come to the pre-meeting suitably briefed.
Day to day operation of Committee
All committee business will be conducted through the chairs with each secretariat acting as a point of contact for their respective side and the administrative secretariat acting in support of the co-chairs.
Relationship of STAC to wider NHS management and staff
Part of STAC’s function will be to disseminate the correct procedure for addressing queries on terms and conditions to the wider health service. As a general principle, queries should be addressed locally if possible, with questions being fed up the appropriate management line and only reaching STAC if no satisfactory answer can be arrived at through this process. So, for example, questions from payroll personnel about the application of pay circulars should be addressed, in the first instance, to the Director of Finance who will, if necessary, refer the matter to the Management Steering Group who may, if no resolution can be reached, refer the issue on to STAC.
Staff side Co-chair
Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee
Management side Co-chair
Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee
In some circumstances, STAC may decide to conduct business by establishing a short life working group. This document describes the agreed processes for short life working group business.
The various processes contained within this paper will in most cases run on a parallel basis, and it is the intent of all parties that the first meeting will take place within 6 weeks of the STAC agreement to set up the short life working group. The intended timescales for the various parts of the short life working group processes are appended to this paper.
Agreeing to set up a short life working group
A short life working group will only be established where there is partnership agreement within STAC plenary to do so.
Setting the terms of reference
The administrative secretariat will draft a terms of reference for the short life working group. The terms of reference should include the following-
* a short description of the issue;
* the size of the group;
* whether the remit of the group is to negotiate a settlement or scope an issue;
* a timescale for the conclusion of the group’s work; and
* a lead official for each side (once identified).
It is for the employer and staff side secretariats to give final approval of the terms of reference before it comes into operation. It is not the role of the short life working group to establish the terms of reference.
Populating the groups
The administrative secretariat will contact the employer and staff side secretariats to ask for nominations for the short life working group. The number of nominations made by each side should not exceed half of the number required to populate the group and will include a lead official from each side. However one substitute may also be nominated, who may attend as a full participator in the absence of the substantive member of the group.
Any changes to the population of the group will only be by prior agreement between the employer and staff side secretariats.
The administrative secretariat will be responsible for arranging short life working group meetings liaising, as necessary, with the lead official of each side to identify a suitable date. They will also provide secretariat support for the meetings. Any papers which the employer or staff side representatives wish to be considered by the short life working group must be routed through the respective secretariats, and should be with the administrative secretariat for circulation at least 1 week in advance of the date of the meeting. Anything which arrives from another route will not be put forward for consideration.
The administrative secretariat will circulate any papers due for consideration. Anything received by the group from any other source should be disregarded.
Conducting the meetings
The short life working group should operate within the parameters set by the terms of reference. If either side wish to diverge from this, they must first of all secure agreement from the STAC co-chairs.
The working group will be chaired by either both lead official on a co-chair basis, or by one of the lead officials if this is deemed appropriate by the working group. This will be decided at the first meeting.
A note of the meeting will be issued by the administrative secretariat to the members of the group and the employer and staff side secretariats.
The administrative secretariat will also note the action points to be taken forward from the meeting, and send a note of these to the assigned individuals(s), along with a deadline for completion. The administrative secretariat will keep track of progress with action points, and report this to the employer and staff side secretariats at the secretariats meetings.
Reaching a conclusion
The short life working group should look to fulfil their remits as quickly and effectively as possible. If this is not achieved within 3 meetings, then the employer and staff side secretariats will consider whether it is appropriate for the group to continue or seek to identify other ways in which the issue can be resolved.
Intended time scales for the STAC short life working groups processes
STAC agreement to set up group (x date)
Group remit drafted and agreed (x + 3 weeks)
Groups populated (x + 3 weeks)
First meeting date (y date)
(x + 6 weeks)
Paper issued (y-1 week)
Meeting note prepared and issued. (y + 2 weeks)