The Agenda for Change (AfC) is a new system for pay, conditions of service and career development forwarded to replace the General Whitley Council (GWC). It is a comprehensive and dynamic package designed to improve working lives and create the means for members to be recognised for role development and provide for a realistic and comprehensive career structure. Unsocial hours will be paid at a rate of time and a half and the 8 general public holidays double time. Within each pay band, there will be a number of pay points. Progression from point to point, up to the maximum in a pay band, will normally take place annually. At two defined points, called gateways in each pay band, progression will be based on demonstrating the agreed knowledge and skills appropriate to that part of the pay band.
However, there are widespread concerns about the class called "unsocial hours". For staff in the pay bands 1-7, "unsocial hours" implies any time worked before 7.00am or after 7.00pm from Monday to Friday, and any time worked on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays. For the staff in the pay band 8, any time before 7.00am or after 10.00pm from Monday to Friday, and any time worked before 9.00am or after 10.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and any time worked on Bank Holidays are classified as "unsocial hours".
Although this favours the patients and tend to reduce waiting time to a great extent, the staff members perceive it as a detrimental to their interests. This is because the AfC increases the working