Examines some effects of NHS Trusts moving away at varying speeds from complex national arrangements for determining terms and conditions towards local bargaining. Notes that while there has been some research into the extent and nature of this decentralization, the impact on trade unions has largely been ignored. This research suggests that, far from marginalizing stewards, senior managers have involved them in joint discussions. Although there has not been a renewal of local trade unionism, there has not been a decline, as membership has held up. Moreover, stewards have coped remarkably well with their enhanced roles, even though faced with the increasing and conflicting demands of their work and their union duties, compounded by problems in obtaining time off work because of lack of cover.
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