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Consultative framework review

9 September 2021

We have recently undertaken a review of the consultative framework within the council and details of the key changes are detailed below for your information.

Formal Trade Union Recognition Agreement

Following negotiation with the recognised trade unions, Unison, GMB and Unite, a formal Trade Union Recognition Agreement has been established which is seen by both the council and the trade unions as being key to maintaining good employee relations.

The document details:

  • the recognised trade unions for the purposes of collective bargaining
  • the bargaining group, which is all council employees excluding schools employees
  • the negotiation, consultation and engagement process, including where specific issues fit within that process
  • timescales for review
  • confirmation of trade union time off and facilities
  • the meeting framework
  • the dispute resolution process

The agreement references three appendices to provide specific detail:

Appendix 1 

This specifies the matters which the council has agreed to negotiate on, matters the council has agreed to consult on and matters the council has agreed to engage with the trade unions on.

Matters for negotiation relate mainly to pay-related issues, for example, the pay and grading structure, overtime and allowances.

Matters for consultation relate mainly to policies and procedures, for example, attendance management procedures.

Matters for engagement focus on employee benefits.

Appendix 2

This details the time off and facilities available to trade union representatives. This was revised and implemented in 2020 and so is unchanged, apart from slight amendments to trade union block time, specifically in relation to supporting the CJC.

Appendix 3

This outlines the process of negotiation and consultation and details the meetings at which this takes place, as well as the frequency and the attendance at those meetings.

The key changes within this process are that more consistency has been applied concerning frequency of meetings, and also to trade union attendance, which is now generally limited to two trade union representatives from each of the recognised trade unions.

The meeting structure for CJC, DJCs, Subgroups and CJC workstreams are detailed within appendix 3.

Also included within appendix 3 are updated terms of reference for each of the meetings. These have been modernised and concentrate more on working together with the trade unions to achieve council aims and objectives in line with the Council Plan, and also detail on how issues can be resolved.