Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Protocols

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1 Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Protocols Document Details Title Recognition Agreement Trust Ref No Local Ref (optional) Main points the document covers This policy sets out the framework for the Trust and Trade Unions and Professional Organisations (TUPO) to deal with employee relations All staff Who is the document aimed at? Author Sara Hayes Approval process Approved by Organisational Development and Workforce Group (Committee/Director) Approval Date July 2014 Initial Equality Impact Yes Screening Full Equality Impact No Assessment Lead Director Director of Governance and Strategy Category Human Resources and Workforce Sub Category Workforce Review date October 2017* Policy review extended to 31 st March 2018 Distribution Who the policy will be distributed to Method Required by CQC Required by NHLSA Other All staff Publication on the Trust intranet Document Links No No None Amendments History No Date Amendment 1 July 2014 Review of the contents and re-formatting of the document to meet Trust guidelines 2 July 2017 Extended to October 2017 for further review, agreed by HR and Workforce Group 3 Feb 2018 Extended review date to 31 st March 2018, as agreed by Chair and Members of HR & Workforce Group. Page 1 of 18

2 Page 2 of 18

3 Recognition Agreement Page 3 of 18

4 Contents SECTION 1 RECOGNITION AGREEMENT Introduction Purpose of the Agreement Recognition Interpretation, Variation and Termination of this agreement Representation & Accreditation... 8 SECTION 2 - NEGOTIATION & CONSULTATION ARRANGEMENTS Introduction Joint Negotiating Partnership (JNP) Functions of the JNP JNP Membership Constitution JNP Meetings and Administrative Arrangements SECTION 3 - FACILITIES AND TIME OFF FOR ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVES OF RECOGNISED TRADE UNIONS Introduction Arrangements for time off to undertake Trade Union duties and Activities Notice Time off to Carry out the Activities of Trade Unions Attendance at Local Branch/Area Meetings Attendance at Regional and National Committee Meetings Attendance at Annual Conferences Time off for Duties Concerned with Employee Relations Attendance at Local Meetings specifically convened by a TUPO and agreed with Management Attendance at Meetings called by Management for the Purpose of Representation, Consultation or Negotiation Time off for Training Travelling Expenses Industrial Action Facilities for Trade Union Representatives Office Accommodation Use of Own Office Use of Communications Systems Photocopying and printing Notice Boards Induction of New Employees Full Time Officers of Trade Unions Deductions of contributions at source (DOCAS) SECTION 4 - CONFIDENTIALITY SECTION 5 - PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT Page 4 of 18

5 SECTION 1 RECOGNITION AGREEMENT 1.1 Introduction This Agreement sets out the framework agreed between the Trust and its Trades Union and Professional Organisations (TUPOs) partners to regulate industrial relations within the Trust Its purpose is to provide a robust partnership framework between managers and staff organisations which fosters and supports the effective involvement of staff, and their staff representatives, at the earliest possible stage in influencing decisions and in joint information sharing, learning and problem solving. In so doing this supports the provision of high quality healthcare services and the achievement of the Trust s statutory and legal duties and responsibilities Whilst the Recognition Agreement makes specific arrangements for the management and relationship between the Trust and recognised Trade unions and professional organisations, the Trust recognises the need to consult and communicate with all employees and has in place mechanisms to achieve this. 1.2 Purpose of the Agreement The purpose of this Agreement is to provide the framework to support and improve employee relations within the Trust. The Agreement provides this framework by establishing: the scope of the Agreement and a set of general principles that will provide the foundation for the conduct of employee relations in the Trust; the arrangements for consultation and negotiating machinery and associated arrangements for workplace representation, joint working, facilities and time off and training for Trade Union Representatives Scope of the Agreement This Agreement recognises and respects the individual responsibilities of all parties The Trade Unions and Professional Organisations recognise the Trust's responsibility to plan, organise and manage the delivery of appropriate healthcare services. As a NHS Trust, this will entail responsiveness to local need and circumstances, and compliance with relevant national requirements The Trust recognises that it is of mutual benefit for employees to be represented by Trade Unions and/or Professional Organisations and therefore recognises them as having sole bargaining right in respect of their members who are employed by the Trust. Page 5 of 18

6 1.3.4 The Trust believes that fully representative Trade Unions and Professional Organisations are the most effective means of ensuring constructive employee relations and will therefore encourage its employees to belong to an appropriate Trade Union or Professional Organisational, although membership is not a condition of employment. It is to be understood that agreements reached through the Joint Negotiating Partnership (JNP) will be binding for all employees within the Trust The Trust recognises the Trade Union s and/or Professional Organisation s responsibility to represent the interests of their members and to work for improved pay and conditions of employment and that they will seek full Trade Union membership amongst all employees in the Trust. 1.4 Recognition This Agreement is made between hereafter known as The Trust and the under mentioned Trade Unions with members employed by the Trust hereafter known as Trade Unions/Professional Organisations abbreviated to TUPO. BDA BMA CSP RCN SCP Unison/BAOT Unite/CPHVA/ RCSLT British Dental Association British Medical Association Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Royal College of Nursing Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists Unison/British Association of Occupational Therapists Unite/Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association/Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists This Trust recognises the above TUPOs for the purpose of bargaining, consulting, communicating and negotiating. Recognition will only be extended to TUPOs where an application is made to management showing significant membership within the Trust and where the TUPO is recognised at national level for bargaining purposes These bargaining arrangements apply to: All staff employed by the Trust under the Agenda for Change national terms and conditions All doctors and dentists employed by the Trust All staff employed by the Trust on Trust terms and conditions other than very senior managers, Directors and Board Members. Staff who are excluded from these bargaining arrangements retain individual representation rights. Page 6 of 18

7 1.5 GENERAL PRINCIPLES The Trust and TUPOs agree that they have a common objective to act in the spirit of partnership working, the aim of which is to ensure the effectiveness and success of the Trust in delivering its objectives and responsibilities for the benefit of patients and staff, and to promote co-operation between staff and managers in matters of mutual concern to achieve this objective To build and maintain respectful partnership working within the organisation. This involves:- Adhering to and embedding the NHS Constitution and pledges Ensuring the NHS retains its position as employer of choice The early engagement of partners and working in a no surprise culture Problems and issues being transparent and shared between partners Recognising that staff and trade unions are part of the solution Partner sharing responsibility Recognising that partnership working is about collaborating together during the hard times as well as the good and that all partners need to work together to try and ensure the continued quality of patient services and minimise the negative impact of any financial difficulties on NHS staff All partners being engaged with financial planning and drawing up QIPP options and strategies Agreeing joint communications All parties agree that their pursuit of this common objective under the Recognition Agreement shall be through processes of: a) Representation - representing employees on matters affecting their employment terms and conditions b) Communication - keeping each side fully informed of all relevant matters c) Consultation - for the purpose of exchanging views and giving full consideration to proposals d) Negotiation - for the purpose of reaching agreements and avoiding disputes To have open appropriate communication links with Full Time Union Officials with the aim of resolving issues at the earliest stage possible Neither the Trust nor TUPOs will at any time unilaterally involve the media during the process of bargaining, consultation and negotiation, without prior consultation with the other party Both parties are committed to doing everything within their power to reach timely and effective agreements on all relevant issues and agree to resolve any differences constitutionally in accordance with the procedure laid down in this Agreement. Whilst differences are being resolved the status quo as defined in the Trust's Grievances Procedure will prevail. Page 7 of 18

8 1.5.7 In the event of non-resolution of differences etc, all parties are committed to ensuring adherence to ACAS Codes of Practice and relevant Employment and Equal Opportunities legislation If the Staff Representative has trade union duties in a department other than their own they will inform the manager in charge of that department, before discharging his/her business in that department. Such access to the department will not be unreasonably be withheld Newly appointed managers should be made aware of the contents of this document, as part of their induction, by the Human Resources Department and newly elected/accredited TUPO Representatives by the JNP Chair Should any staff representative fail to work within the terms of this Agreement, consultation shall take place with the full-time officer of the appropriate TUPO in order to resolve the issue. 1.6 Interpretation, Variation and Termination of this agreement In the first instance, any disagreements as to the interpretation of this Agreement shall be referred to the Chair of JNP and Management Chair. In the event of a failure to agree, the matter(s) in question will be referred to the full JNP and/or raised with TUPO full-time officers and pursued in accordance with the Trust's Grievances Procedure if necessary This Agreement will be subject to a periodic JNP review and may be varied by joint consent or in accordance with changes in employment legislation Either party may terminate this Agreement by giving six months notice of termination in writing to the other side. This period will be used to negotiate a new Agreement. 1.7 Representation & Accreditation TUPOs will notify Human Resources in writing of the names of elected representatives and of any changes of representatives The Trust recognises the right of TUPOs members to elect representatives to act on their behalf in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and in accordance with their own constitution The recognition and facilities afforded by this Agreement to any representative or official shall be withdrawn in the event that: a) the individual resigns the TUPO appointment for which the recognition and facilities had been granted, or b) a TUPO notifies the Trust in writing that an individual has ceased to be a Representative or official of that organisation or the individual is no longer employed by the Trust. However, existing representatives, not employed by the Trust at the time of signing this Agreement, will continue to be recognised whilst working on Trust premises. Page 8 of 18

9 SECTION 2 - NEGOTIATION & CONSULTATION ARRANGEMENTS 2.1 Introduction Negotiation and consultation arrangements provide the opportunity for TUPO representatives to influence and where appropriate reach agreement on decisions and implementation arrangements of issues arising between the Trust and its workforce. The principal mechanism through which this will occur is the JNP for Trust wide issues, except for matters solely or substantially affecting medical and dental staff for whom a separate mechanism is provided; this is the Local Negotiating Committee (LNC) The practice of seeking to reach agreement through the JNP will be maintained and used whenever possible, conditional upon outcomes being in accordance with Trust policies and relevant JNP agreements, except for matters solely or substantially affecting medical and dental staff for whom a separate mechanism is provided; (LNC) In appropriate circumstances it will be necessary for the Trust to deal with individual TUPOs on issues specific to a particular staff group, as long as these are without prejudice to other groups or contrary to agreements reached at JNP level. The JNP will be advised of the subject matter under consideration and agreements reached in such circumstances. 2.2 Joint Negotiating Partnership (JNP) Purpose: a) To provide an effective, open and constructive two-way channel of negotiation, consultation and communication between the Trust and its employees. This will complement other lines of communication and staff involvement, to increase mutual understanding by a genuine exchange of views, ideas and information. It will not be used for the resolution of differences that are appropriately dealt with under other procedures e.g. discipline and grievance. b) To enable managers and staff representatives to jointly discuss and contribute to the resolution of Trust wide issues and matters of mutual interest, so that staff representatives may influence the outcome of plans prior to them taking their final form. c) To encourage staff to have a positive interest in, involvement with and active responsibility for the services they provide, the conditions under which services are provided and the promotion of effective, high quality patient services. 2.3 Functions of the JNP Management will discuss and consult and negotiate fully upon any and all of the following:- a) Significant clinical and non-clinical proposals for service changes or developments and their implications for workforce deployment, utilisation or profile. Page 9 of 18

10 b) Strategic planning proposals and decisions including the allocation of resources which have staffing implications. c) Employment policies, procedures and related issues not subject to local or national collective bargaining which are common for all Trust employees, with a view to reaching mutually acceptable agreements. d) Any other managerial decisions likely to significantly affect job prospects, job security or staff wellbeing within the Trust. e) All aspects of the overall working environment including those aspects of the employment relationship for all staff which are not subject to local or national collective bargaining. f) Organisational wide problems and issues, raised by either management or staff, in order to achieve effective solutions through an open exchange of views, ideas, options and information The JNP will not discuss matters relating to individual employees or departmental issues unless they have a Trust wide impact. The JNP will not replace other communication methods or the responsibility of all managers throughout the Trust to communicate effectively and regularly with their staff. 2.4 JNP Membership Constitution By agreement by Staff Side a TUPO may delegate its seat to another TUPO in the event of unforeseen circumstances when the TUPO Representative is unable to attend a particular meeting There is an expectation of one voting seat per union, but as long as representation is broadly representative of occupational groups TUPOs can agree variations The Trust s Chief Executive or their nominated representative will act as the JNP management hair A quorum of the JNP will be three management and three TUPO representatives By joint agreement, other representatives may attend in the capacity of observer/researcher/specialist adviser. Such persons will take no part in actual negotiations Full time officers of recognised TUPOs will be entitled to attend all meetings of the JNP as appropriate. 2.5 JNP Meetings and Administrative Arrangements The JNP will normally meet every month with the opportunity by joint agreement to alter the frequency of meetings. Provision will be made for separate staff and management side pre-meetings before each JNP meeting. With the agreement of the joint secretaries, participation may be arranged via video conferencing. Page 10 of 18

11 2.5.2 The JNP may establish temporary Sub-Committees composed of a number of JNP members and co-opted TUPO representatives and managers, with the purpose of ensuring detailed consideration is given to any issue, procedure or policy. Where appropriate, such Sub-Committees will report back to the JNP in full their findings and/or recommendations prior to any implications or further action being taken, unless specifically jointly agreed to the contrary The agenda for each meeting will normally be agreed between the joint chairs at least seven calendar days prior to each meeting. The agenda and any supporting papers will normally be issued at least seven calendar days before the meeting The minutes of the meeting will be produced by the management secretary and then circulated normally one week prior to the next meeting to all JNP members The management side will provide secretarial support for the JNP for the production and distribution of agendas and minutes An annual programme of JNP meetings and their location will be agreed each year in advance. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, meetings will not be cancelled or altered at short notice. However, where required, additional meetings will be arranged at short notice following discussion between the Management Chair (or nominee) and the Staff Side Chair (or nominee) The wording of any agreements reached will be agreed between the TUPO Chair and the Management Chair prior to distribution. The question of how and when matters under negotiation or the details of agreements reached are to be communicated either internally or externally will be jointly agreed prior to release. Both sides will maintain effective communication processes for matters of information and consultation Agreements reached by the JNP will be binding upon all staff. SECTION 3 - FACILITIES AND TIME OFF FOR ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVES OF RECOGNISED TRADE UNIONS 3.1 Introduction The general purpose of the statutory provisions on time off arrangements for Trade Union duties and activities is to aid and improve the conduct of employee relations. All parties should be aware of the wide variety of circumstances and different operational arrangements that have to be taken into account in any arrangements for dealing with time off. It is accepted by all parties that representatives' duties will vary according to the consultation and negotiation arrangements at the place of work, the structure of the Union, the role of the official and in accordance with ACAS Code of Practice 3, Time off for Trade Union duties and activities. The principle of partnership working is advocated by the Trust and therefore representatives and their line manager are encouraged to negotiate reasonable time off whilst recognising the needs of the service and employee relations. Page 11 of 18

12 3.1.2 Any dispute as to time off in accordance with this Agreement shall be referred to the Human Resources team and the appropriate Trade Union in the first instance and, if not resolved, through the agreed Grievance Procedure. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld. 3.2 Arrangements for time off to undertake Trade Union duties and Activities No accredited representative or official shall suffer any loss of remuneration, detriment to career or promotion prospects as a consequence of carrying out the functions in accordance with this Agreement. Time off with pay shall be calculated as if the person had worked during the period when the time of was taken. If the pay varies according to the amount of work done, payment should be calculated by reference to the average weekly earnings Trade Union Representatives who normally work part time will be entitled to be paid for the hours worked over and above their normal contracted hours whilst undertaking trade union duties including training for accredited trade union courses It is recognised that the Staff side Chair may need a significant proportion of work time to deal with TUPO duties and partnership working initiatives required by the Trust. The Trust accepts that there is a degree of flexibility around time off in order to reflect this on going need. 3.3 Notice Prior to taking time off in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, the representative or official shall discuss with the line manager of the need to take time off and the general reasons for it, the intended location and the expected period of absence. As a general rule, notice will be given as far in advance as is reasonably practicable before the meeting, conference, etc is due to take place. Wherever possible, one month s notice must be given in advance for the purpose of training courses It remains management s responsibility to make the operational arrangements for time off. However, staff representatives will assist their line manager to facilitate time off wherever possible. If agreement cannot be reached on the need for deferment, the matter should be referred to the Human Resources team and if necessary a full-time official of the Union When appropriate, special arrangements will be made for accredited representatives who work unsocial hours either on a regular or rotating basis, so that their hours of work do not prevent them from carrying out their duties effectively The following principles (A, B, C, and D) shall apply when granting time off for meetings with management and associated pre-meetings. i) When the meeting falls on the persons day off; or ii) When a shift worker or part-time worker, etc, attends a meeting during another shift time or outside their normal working hours; or Page 12 of 18

13 iii) When the meeting with management goes on outside the person s normal working hours:- A) Management will always endeavour to ensure that meetings take place whilst the appropriate representatives are on duty, either by adjusting the dates of meetings or, where appropriate, amending rotas. B) If a meeting is to take place on the representative s day off or while the representative is not on duty and (A) above is not possible, then either representative shall be paid for time spent, or at least an equivalent amount of time off in lieu will be given at a time agreeable to both parties. C) There shall be an adequate rest period between the meeting and worked period. D) If a meeting with management continues after the representative s normal working hours, then the representative shall be paid for time spent, at the appropriate rate, or equivalent amount of time off in lieu will be given at a time agreeable to both parties. 3.4 Time off to Carry out the Activities of Trade Unions Time off without pay is normally granted for activities concerned with the internal administration and running of the trade unions in order to ensure the effective and democratic functioning of that organisation. Time off with pay will be granted for carrying out the duties concerned with employee relations and negotiated paid time off for some Trade Union activities as referred to below. 3.5 Attendance at Local Branch/Area Meetings Time-off without pay will be considered for representatives on duty when such meetings are held. 3.6 Attendance at Regional and National Committee Meetings Reasonable time off with pay will normally be granted to serve on Regional and National Committees. 3.7 Attendance at Annual Conferences Time off with pay will normally be granted for one delegate from each TUPO to attend. Additional delegates will be mutually agreed. 3.8 Time off for Duties Concerned with Employee Relations The following duties cover matters of mutual concern to management and Trade Unions: a) collective bargaining, consultation and negotiation b) informing membership about negotiations or consultations with management c) meetings with other representatives or with Full-Time Officers on matters which are specifically concerned with employee relations within the Trust Page 13 of 18

14 d) interviews with and on behalf of members on grievance and disciplinary matters within the Trust e) appearing on behalf of members before an outside official body, such as an Employment Tribunal, which is dealing with an employee relations matter concerning the Trust f) explanations of the role of the Trade Union in the workplace and the employee relations structure to new employees whom he or she will represent g) representing members on a Regional/National body e.g. a National Joint Committee. h) Agenda for Change Job Matching and Evaluation Panels and associated activities 3.9 Attendance at Local Meetings specifically convened by a TUPO and agreed with Management Time off with pay will be granted for representatives already on duty. If the meeting specifically requires the attendance of a Representative who is off duty, such attendance time will normally be appropriately remunerated Attendance at Meetings called by Management for the Purpose of Representation, Consultation or Negotiation Time off with pay will be granted for representatives already on duty. If the meeting specifically requires the attendance of a Representative who is off duty, such attendance time will normally be appropriately remunerated Time off for Training The training of representatives in relevant aspects of employee relations is to be encouraged and reasonable time off with pay will be granted in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the ACAS Code of Practice, subject to the requirements of the following paragraphs. Where a representative feels that a request has been unreasonably refused, the representative should refer the matter to Human Resources team If service and operational requirements require it, days off and rest days that coincide with the training period may be re-allocated to fall outside the training period. (As most training courses take place on a Monday to Friday basis this would usually mean days off and rest days being re-allocated to fall on Saturday and Sunday if they do not normally do so.) The training course must be either approved by the TUC or the recognised Trade Union All course fees and expenses are the responsibility of the staff organisation concerned All applications for time off for training purposes must be submitted to the appropriate manager at least four weeks in advance of the training taking place wherever practicable to enable sufficient time prior to the start of the Page 14 of 18

15 training for the manager to be able to consider approval and respond accordingly Travelling Expenses Travelling expenses will be paid by the Trust for approved meetings with management Industrial Action Management and Trade Unions have a responsibility to use agreed procedures to resolve problems constructively and avoid industrial action. Time off shall be provided for this purpose Where a representative is not taking part in industrial action but represents members involved, normal arrangements for time off with pay for the representative should apply There is no obligation on the Trust to permit time off for activities which themselves consist of industrial action; but where a group of members not taking part in such action are directly affected by other people's industrial action, these members and their representatives may need to seek the agreement of management to time off for an emergency meeting 3.14 Facilities for Trade Union Representatives The Trust is firmly of the belief that good employee relations are an important factor in achieving its organisational objectives. Co-operation and communication need to be a feature of the relationship between management, staff and trade unions. The Trust will extend to recognised staff representatives such facilities as are required to assist them in the performance of their Trust functions The facilities detailed below will be available to recognised Union representatives, who, in return, should ensure that proper use is made of them and that where appropriate, the necessary approval has been obtained for taking time off to leave normal duties Office Accommodation The Trust will provide the following facilities for the collective use of the recognised staff organisations for the duties and functions outlined in this Agreement: reasonable office space and facilities including a pc and printer, telephone, office furniture and lockable document storage; appropriately located notice boards (or parts thereof) for TUPO communications; appropriate access to the Trust s normal meeting/training rooms; Representatives will be responsible for ensuring the proper use of facilities for allocation of space and for resolving any associated disagreements. Page 15 of 18

16 3.16 Use of Own Office Representatives who as part of their normal work have access to office facilities may use these facilities in carrying out their duties and activities for their trade unions or staff organisations provided there is no interference with their normal work Use of Communications Systems All staff representatives will have their own dedicated account and access to the Trust s intranet and internet. Access to an internal telephone and internal mail distribution services will be provided without charge Telephone calls may be made for union business at the expense of the Trust, providing that calls are kept within reasonable limits with regard to both time and frequency. All calls are logged. Management reserve the right to invoke the Trust policy in relation to the inappropriate use of all communications systems Photocopying and printing Printing facilities including photocopying will be provided for use re trade union duties subject to prior arrangement with Management who will assess usage Notice Boards Management will provide staff notice boards for joint use as required to meet the reasonable needs of TUPO. It will be the responsibility of the TUPO concerned to ensure their safe keeping. No TUPO notice of any kind should be exhibited elsewhere on the premises without prior consent of senior management. In exceptional circumstances, management reserve the right to challenge the propriety of any notice displayed on such notice boards and if considered offensive to either management or other staff groups, take steps to secure its removal following consultation with the appropriate representative Induction of New Employees In the case of new employees within the scope of the Recognition Agreement the Trust will provide facilities for local representatives to meet them as part of the induction process Union Elections Facilities sufficient to enable Union elections to take place during working hours will be made available Full Time Officers of Trade Unions Full Time Officers of recognised Trade Unions will be given facilities to meet with representatives and to represent their members at meetings with senior management. Page 16 of 18

17 3.23 Deductions of contributions at source (DOCAS) The Trust will provide a service to deduct Trade Union membership fees from employees at source when they have received a signed authorisation from the employee to do so The Trust s Pay Services Department will continue to provide annually the relevant Trade Union with a list of their members who participate in the DOCAS scheme. SECTION 4 - CONFIDENTIALITY 4.1 It is accepted by the TUPO representatives that information provided by the Trust may be identified as confidential. 4.2 In addition, whilst it is accepted that TUPO representatives may need to make some information available to the workforce generally, it is accepted that the management of the Trust may request that information is restricted to named JNP members or that an embargo is set on the timing for disclosure of information. 4.3 Information that is made generally available to staff within the Trust is not subject to the above constraints. 4.4 No information relating to an individual's personal or pay details will be disclosed without the employee's prior permission. Data will be aggregated and presented in such a way as to preserve anonymity. Page 17 of 18

18 SECTION 5 - PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT Parties to the Agreement (Please refer to the copy held in Human Resources for signatures) Signed on behalf of the Trust Signed on behalf of BDA Signed on behalf of BMA Signed on behalf of CSP Signed on behalf of RCN Signed on behalf of SCP Signed on behalf of Unison/BAOT Signed on behalf of Unite/CPHVA/RCSLT Date Date Date Date Date Date Date Date Page 18 of 18

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