Headlines: July 12th, 2005

The conciliation service – Acas – has launched training material specifically
designed to help public sector organisations manage reform and change. As well
as the tailor-made training and workshops it is also publishing guides aimed at
the National Health Service and local authorities.

Acas Chair Rita Donaghy said the service had led a number of in-depth projects
within public sector organisations across the country. The new guides – “Working
with you to manage change in the NHS” and “Working with you to manage change in
local government”, will include case studies.

Rita Donaghy added, “Acas has 30 years’ experience of solving disputes in the
public and private sector and is now putting more emphasis on supporting public
services organisations through its good practice advisory work and other
employment relations initiatives.”

The service has worked on projects with more than 50 NHS Trusts and more than 30
local councils in the last year, covering a range of issues from attendance
management to managing bullying and harassment and joint partnership working.
Acas is also working with the Department of Health, relevant trade unions and
the Health People Management Association to develop an alternative dispute
resolution package for trusts.

Ms Donaghy said the extensive programme of reforms had far-reaching implications
for those working in the health service and local government, particularly for
the relationships between employees, unions and employers. Acas’s work was
always based on a joint approach and its strong reputation for impartiality and
independence meant it was respected and trusted by all sides.

As well as its involvement in reforms in the health service and local
government, Acas is also working closely with the Universities and Colleges
Employers Association and trade unions to help put in place its new national
agreement, and it has been closely involved in helping to develop new police
disciplinary arrangements. Acas is also partnering the Health and Safety
Executive to help implement the Stress Management Standards.