The Staff Governor - Statement of Principles
Who are they?
Staff Governors are elected by voting through elections from agreed staff groups. The Staff Governors work alongside the other governors which are drawn from groups covering the public constituencies and stakeholder organisations. Staff Governors are an important part of the Members' Council and play a full role in its business.
What is their role?
Staff form over a third of the overall Trust membership. Staff Governors, like other governors, carry the responsibility of holding the Board of Directors to account for the performance of the Trust which includes their role in relationship to audit and any other activities they must undertake to scrutinise how the Trust performs, whilst giving consideration to the views of the members.
They have a clear mandate from staff to undertake the duties of a hospital governor in line with the Trust Constitution, Monitor and the Foundation Trust Governors Association. They are in place to give staff a voice in the running of the Trust in general and in particular at the Members' Council Meetings.
They are expected to use their judgement and discretion with relative autonomy to provide the Trust with an exemplary and admirable governing body.
They will also undertake any other roles laid down in the Monitor's Code of Governance 2006 and any subsequent changes.
In addition to this, they will undertake other roles as suggested by the Foundation Trust Governors Association.
What do they do?
To fulfil this role, Staff Governors undertake the following:
- Represent the interests and views of all staff throughout the Trust giving significant consideration to the interests of their particular electorate;
- Meet with staff, where possible, to provide an opportunity to share information about the Trust, it's hospitals direction and vision and how it is performing;
- Take a full role in Members' Council Meetings and other groups and committees that have been established by the Governors;
- Monitor, on behalf of the staff, how well the Trust is doing;
- Use their influence at the Members' Council to advise the Trust's Board of Directors;
- Take a full role at the Members' Council with selecting and appointing Non-executive Directors and the Chairman;
- Take a full role at the Members' Council in approving the appointment of the Chief Executive;
- Take a full role at the Members' Council in reviewing the performance of the Non-executive Directors and the Chairman and in setting their remuneration;
- Take a full role at the Members' Council in appointing the Trust's auditors.
What they can't do
Governors have an important role in the effective running of the Trust in that they hold the Board of Directors to account but they do not replace other ways that the Trust is run.
Staff Governors do not deal with specific individual issues for staff, for example, disciplinary or grievance issues which are dealt with by formal staff representatives. Likewise, formal staff representation and negotiation through the Joint Staff Council and Local Negotiation Committee remains in place, it is intended that the work of these groups run alongside and where appropriate complements the Staff Governor role and vice versa.
Notwithstanding the above, the holding of the Board of Directors to account may well include specific issues, e.g. infection control, which may require Governors to intervene.
Support for Staff Governors
The Trust recognises the importance of the role of Staff Governors and supports them to work effectively.
The Foundation Trust Membership Office works closely with the Staff Governors to provide them with access to administrative resources and information.
Staff Governors are provided with support to attend meetings of the Members' Council and other agreed groups and committees. The duties undertaken as a staff governor are considered as part of their standard working time. For example, as there is an obligation incumbent upon Governors under the Trust's constitution to attend the Members Council, time committed to meetings during rostered periods of rest, or off-duty will be returned as time off in lieu. Also Staff Governors will be released from their normal work to attend these duties and will be paid as usual. They will not be expected to subsequently complete work they would otherwise have done or to work additional hours to make up the released time.
Service Managers are expected to support Staff Governors in this way, with guidance and direction from the Director of Workforce.