School and Academy - Time off for trade union representatives

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1 This HR Policy has been adopted by the Governing Body of each of the ATOM schools prior to conversion, and is implemented from 1 April 2015 School and Academy - Time off for trade union representatives 1. The following model policy and guidance is relevant for all maintained schools in Wiltshire. It is recommended for adoption for all other schools and academies in Wiltshire that recognise trade unions and buy into Wiltshire council s pooled facility funding arrangements. Statutory responsibilities 2. Under the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 a school / academy is obliged to allow an employee, who is a trade union official of an independent trade union recognised for collective bargaining purposes, to undertake various duties and training as detailed in the Act. 3. The Act is supported by an ACAS Code of Practice - Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities. Additional advice 4. This guidance has also been produced whilst having due regard for the DfE advice on Trade union facility time for school leaders, governing bodies, employers and employees in schools January Who does this guidance apply to? All maintained schools in Wiltshire and for those Wiltshire academies that recognise trade unions and Wiltshire council s pooled facility funding arrangements as agreed via schools forum. What is facility time? 5. A trade union official of a recognised trade union should be employed in work at a school / academy. They will be eligible to:- take reasonable paid time off during working hours for the purpose of enabling the employee:- May 2014 Page 1 of 13

2 to carry out any duties relating to or connected with collective bargaining matters; to undergo relevant training. Examples of these are: - meetings with full time officials, or branch, area, regional or national meetings of the union where the business of the union is under discussion. meetings of official policy making bodies such as the national executive or annual conference. workplace meetings to discuss and vote on the outcome of negotiations with the employer. voting in union elections. 6. NB. Facility time must not be used for any activities related to lobbying for, planning or carrying out industrial action. There are no circumstances under which an employee can claim time off to take industrial action. What is reasonable time off? 7. The legislation does allow reasonable time off during working hours. However the expectation is that all trade union representatives who work in a school / academy spend the majority of their working hours in their school / academy based role. National and provincial council agreements of which schools are part of 8. The various National Joint Councils are committed to the principle of solving problems by discussion and agreement. For practical purposes this can only be conducted by representatives of the employers and employees. The council and therefore maintained schools, through its membership of the provincial and various National Joint Councils, recognises those trade unions which are represented on the National Joint Councils, in full for collective bargaining purposes. Such recognition is limited to the particular employment group covered by the National Joint Council of which the union is a member. 9. Trade Unions, which are not in membership of the National Joint Councils, are not recognised by the school for collective bargaining purposes. Recognised Trade Unions 10. Wiltshire schools / academy formally recognises the following Trade Unions: NAHT NASUWT ASCL ATL NUT UNISON GMB UNITE How is facility time funded? May 2014 Page 2 of 13

3 11. Funding for facility time for maintained school has been de-delegated. The detail of the funding formula is discussed and agreed with schools through the Schools Forum. 12. For academies the budget for facilities time is delegated to them but agreement via the Schools Forum is that each Wiltshire academy would be invoiced annually on the same basis as the delegation ie the same amount. Recognition Agreement 13. A Recognition Agreement defines the principles, duties, roles and responsibilities of representatives and states what is negotiable and what is for consultation. 14. More information can be found in the full Recognition Agreement below. Requests for time off 15. Before taking time off the trade union representative must obtain the permission from the headteacher / principal. Where the union representative is a headteacher / principal permission must be obtained from the chair of governors. Key considerations before refusing time off 16. Relevant considerations before refusing time off may include: - the size of the organisation and numbers of workers; if the request is granted, will it create unacceptable problems in terms of productivity or maintaining acceptable levels of education at the school; how many employees are currently absent and the number of unfilled vacancies; whether cover is available; the reasons for the request, eg purpose, time, place; the possibility of rearranging time off to a more convenient time; the possibility of another representative undertaking the trade union duty ; how much time off has already been granted, when and how often; whether any conditions relating to previous time off have been observed satisfactorily; the difficulties of the trade union in communicating or representing shift workers, part-time workers, those with particular domestic commitments, those working at dispersed locations, etc. 17. As per the agreement, support for time off is encouraged wherever possible. How does a school or academy get reimbursed for facility time? 18. Invoices for agreed time off will be reimbursed to the school / academy upon the council receiving full details and dates and costs incurred by the school / academy due to the facility time off: to carry out any duties relating to or connected with collective bargaining matters; to undergo relevant training. May 2014 Page 3 of 13

4 Recording time off 19. When a steward / representative is elected the Headteacher / Principal / chair of governors will be notified. The stewart must complete returns for time off that has been granted. It is crucial that these returns are completed as monitoring of these may lead to a change in the amount of time granted. Regional / county union representatives 20. In addition to workplace stewards / representatives, each of the recognised unions has a regional / county representative who will participate in negotiations at a local level. May 2014 Page 4 of 13

5 Glossary Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 TULR(C)A 21. This Act relates to trade unions, employers associations, industrial relations and industrial action. The provisions in sections relate to time off for trade union duties and activities (collectively known as facility time). These provisions are also set out in the annex to the Acas Code of Practice on time off for trade union duties and activities. Acas Code of Practice on time off for trade union duties and activities 22. Under section 199 of TULR(C)A the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer to a trade union official or member. The code of practice sets out authoritative guidance describing the responsibilities which employers and trade unions share in considering reasonable time off. The provisions in the code of practice are admissible in evidence in proceedings before an Employment Tribunal. Trade Union Representative 23. This advice reflects the Acas code of practice, which uses the term union representative to mean an employee who has been elected or appointed in accordance with the rules of the independent union, to be a representative of all or some of the union's members in the school(s) where the union is recognised for collective bargaining purposes. This is intended to equate with the legal term 'trade union official'. Schools Forum 24. Schools forum is made up of representatives from schools and academies, but with some representation from other non-school organisations. The forum acts as a consultative body on some issues and a decision making body on others. The forum is responsible for decisions on proposals to de-delegate funding from maintained primary and secondary schools (e.g. for staff supply cover including facility time). De-delegation 25. Funding arrangements allow maintained primary and secondary schools forum representatives to vote on behalf of their phase to transfer funding from delegated budgets to a central budget (held by the local authority). This is known as de-delegation. Cover 26. Where a trade union representative requests time off the school / academy will arrange cover. As the absence is funded by this facility agreement the school / academy it is expected that all cover would not be through another employee taking on additional duties. However, it could be that a part time employee agrees to work additional hours to cover the absent union representative. Alternatively the school / academy will engage external cover, for example a supply teacher. It is expected that the union representative would give reasonable notice of the need to undertake union duties to enable the school / academy to get suitable cover. May 2014 Page 5 of 13

6 School and Academy Teacher Trade Union Recognition and Facilities agreement Parties 1. This agreement is made between Wiltshire Council (the council) on behalf of the schools and academies of Wiltshire and the following Trade Unions: NAHT NASUWT ASCL ATL NUT Scope 2. The agreement applies to all teachers of Wiltshire schools and academies, other than those academies who have not adopted the facility agreement. 3. For school support staff they are covered by a separate recognition agreement which is in place and was made between Wiltshire Council and the following support staff Trade Unions: UNISON GMB Unite Purpose 4. The purpose of the agreement is to: afford recognition to the above Trade Unions as the sole bargaining agent for all relevant employees; outline the general principles; define the union representatives roles; define the duties and responsibilities of representatives; define which items are negotiable and which are for consultation; detail the negotiating and consultative constitution and procedures; outline the administrative and operational facilities and procedures; co-operate in achieving positive industrial relations based on a partnership approach; engage in effective communications with employees; work towards high quality public services. Principles 5. All parties affirm that they share a common aim in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of schools and academies in Wiltshire for the benefit of the education of their pupils. 6. All parties recognise their mutual interdependence in securing the future success of Education in Wiltshire and the best interests of its employees 7. All parties recognise that their pursuit of these common objectives under this Agreement shall be by informal and formal communication, consultation and negotiation. May 2014 Page 6 of 13

7 8. All parties agree that at each stage of the procedure as set out in this Agreement every attempt will be made to resolve issues raised. 9. The Council, on behalf of Wiltshire maintain schools and academies, recognises that it is to the mutual benefit for school and academy employees to be fully consulted and represented by a properly constituted trade union and will inform its employees that it encourages membership of a trade union in the Statement of Particulars issued to all new employees. 10. To this end the Council affirms its intention as a good employer to maintain a constructive relationship with the recognised Trade Unions on behalf of Wiltshire schools and academies. 11. The Unions undertake to represent fairly the interests of all employees covered by this agreement. 12. Schools and academies shall not take any unilateral action and the Unions shall not take industrial action in relation to any matters covered by this agreement until the procedures for resolving issues as defined in the Agreement have been exhausted. Neither side should prejudice the national machinery. 13. The Council, schools and academies acknowledge the need to make information available on issues affecting the staff or business of the school / academy. 14. It is recognised that it is the Headteacher s / Principal s responsibility to plan, organise and manage the activities of the school. 15. It is recognised that it is the union s responsibility to represent the interests of its members and work to improve their conditions of employment. 16. There is a commitment to protect the right of employees to join trade unions and encourage trade union membership. 17. There is a joint commitment to adhere to and develop policies on equal opportunities. Representation 18. Representatives will carry out the duties prescribed by the Trade Unions rules and represent members in accordance with the terms of this agreement. 19. The number of representatives for Wiltshire schools and academies will be agreed between the Council and Trade Unions. The principle will be to ensure that there is adequate and fair representation. 20. In order to stand for election as a representative, an employee must have the required Trade Union membership. 21. Representatives will be elected in accordance with relevant Trade Union rules. May 2014 Page 7 of 13

8 22. The Trade Unions will notify the Council and Wiltshire schools / academies in writing of the names of representatives as soon as possible after an election. Negotiable Terms 23. The following is a list of negotiable terms subject to this agreement. Some, where indicated, are primarily subject to national negotiation but which may have some local elements or variations - Terms and conditions of employment (national) Pay awards (national) Job descriptions Job grading and job evaluation Hours of work (national) Holiday and sickness arrangements (national) Pensions (national) Overall salary structure Health, safety and welfare Equal opportunities and workforce diversity Redundancy and redeployment Disciplinary, grievance and procedures Any other item which both sides agree to refer Consultative Items 24. The Council, on behalf of Wiltshire Schools / academies, will consult the recognised trade unions on significant changes in working practices. Consultation relating to organisation of work at the school / academy will be undertaken by the school leaders and governors of the school / academy. The views of the trade unions will be obtained and considering the views of those trade unions with a view to reaching agreement. 25. The following is a list of items which may be subject to consultation with the trade unions (but does not exclude any other changes not listed but which affect employees of schools and academies) New technology or equipment (where it significantly affects working practices and jobs) Staff amenities Restructures of jobs Privatisation Business transfers Collective redundancies Reorganisation of staff, relocating and closing of school premises Training and development Negotiation and Consultation Procedure 26. All parties agree that it is in their mutual interests to observe a consultative/negotiating procedure by which all issues arising between them can be considered and resolved at the lowest level as early and as speedily as possible. May 2014 Page 8 of 13

9 Line Management 27. In the first instance any collective matters of concern will be raised by the appropriate Trade Union with the appropriate headteacher / principal with the intention of resolving them at this level. 28. If it is not possible to resolve the matter at this level then it will be referred to a regular meeting of Human Resources and schools JCC. Meetings between Trade Unions and Human Resources 29. Meetings between the recognised Trade Unions and Human Resources will take place via Teacher County Secretaries meetings on a quarterly basis. Matters of mutual interest, concern, operational issues and information sharing will be raised at these meetings, or at other times if needed, with the intention of resolving them at this level. Teachers Joint Consultative Committee 30. Without prejudice to the right of management to manage and of the teachers to make representations in their interests through the teachers unions and associations, the general objects of the Committee are: to effect a regular exchange of views and to establish a consultative procedure between the Council and the recognised teachers unions and associations; to afford a regular channel for consultation and negotiation as appropriate between the Council and the recognised teachers unions and associations on matters relating to industrial relations, working arrangements and terms and conditions of service that are not reserved for negotiation at national or other agreed levels. Functions 31. Information: to provide information on administrative and organisational matters so that teachers unions and associations are kept fully informed of plans and intentions that are likely to affect teaching staff. 32. Consultation: on matters that are for the Council to decide, to provide an opportunity for comment and discussion in order to assist the Council in making those decisions. 33. Negotiation: to negotiate on local terms and conditions of service not reserved to national or other agreed procedures. Constitution 34. Membership: the Committee shall comprise the following representatives. Vacancies may be filled as they arise. Representatives of the Council: o the Associate Director of the service for Children and Education or their nominee o the Human Resources representative Representatives of the recognised teachers unions and associations: o The Association of School and College Leaders 1 epresentative May 2014 Page 9 of 13

10 o The Association of Teachers and Lecturers o The National Association of Head Teachers o The National Association of Schoolmasters o Union of Women Teachers o The National Union of Teachers 3 representatives 2 representatives 3 representatives 3 representatives Two representatives of the education support staff unions as observers. These observers may speak, at the chair s discretion, but may not vote. They may be excluded from the meeting for specific agenda items on a simple majority vote of the representatives detailed above present and voting. (Abstentions are not votes.) 35. The Chair of the Committee shall be the Associate Director of the service for Children and Education or their nominee. 36. Advisers: the Committee shall have the right to invite to the meeting any person whose knowledge and expertise is likely to enable it to conduct its business more effectively. Procedure 37. Meetings of the Committee shall be held during working hours not less than three times a year, but special meetings may be called at the request of either the representatives of the Council or the representatives of the recognised teachers unions and associations. 38. The agenda for each meeting shall be sent, by electronic mail, to each member of the Committee no later than ten working days before the meeting. Items of business may be added to the agenda at the meeting only with the consent of the representatives of the Council and of every recognised teachers union and association present. 39. The quorum for a meeting shall be one representative of the Council and a majority representation from the recognised teachers unions and associations. 40. Reports and recommendations emanating from the Committee shall be submitted to the appropriate committees, panels and other representatives of the Council. 41. Minutes of the proceedings of the Committee shall be prepared by a representative of the Council, who will send them to the Chair of the Committee, and to the nominated Chair of the recognised teachers unions and associations, for accuracy checks within 10 working days of the meeting. Thereafter the minutes will be issued by electronic mail, to each member of the Committee within 30 days of the last meeting date. 42. The representatives of the teachers unions and associations and the observers shall be paid their substantive rates of pay and reimbursed travelling expenses. May 2014 Page 10 of 13

11 43. The representatives of the Council, the representatives of the teachers unions and associations and the observers shall each be responsible for their own administrative expenses. Schools Safety Forum 44. A forum for management and trade unions representatives in schools and academies will be held on a regular basis to discuss all schools / academies related health and safety issues. Notes from these meetings, general policy matters and unresolved issues will be referred to the Council s Joint Central Health and safety Committee. Administrative Facilities for the Trade Unions and their Accredited Representatives 45. Meetings between representatives of the Council, schools/ academies and Trade Unions will be held during normal working hours (except in exceptional circumstances and by joint agreement) and on the Council s premises. 46. The Council will provide a facility under which employee subscriptions to Trade Unions may be deducted from salary at the request of the employee and provide a monthly list of such deductions to the Trade Union. Trade Union Duties 47. In addition to his/her work as an employee an accredited Trade Union representative has the following Trade Union duties for which reasonable paid time off will be granted when those duties fall within his/her working hours (this is not an exhaustive list). To prepare and make representations to management on behalf of a member or group of members, including representation as part of the Disciplinary, Capability or Grievance procedures. To attend meetings of the JCC, schools safety forum and any sub-committees and to represent the Trade Union in the joint negotiating or consultative machinery at local, regional or national level. Attendance at Branch Executive meetings as an elected representative. Attendance at meetings of stewards (e.g. NUT area steward s group meetings) where school matters are discussed. To attend school / academy initiated meetings where the Headteacher / principal concerned has requested the attendance of the union representative. To attend appropriate trade union training (see below). To prepare and appear on behalf of his/her members before an outside body, such as an employment tribunal, or other organisation which is dealing with a matter relating to current or past employment within the school / academy. To inform employees of the role and function of the Trade Unions and encourage membership of Wiltshire schools / academies. To attend national conferences annually as an elected delegate, the size of the delegation to be in accordance with union rules, and by agreement to include an observer. To attend regional or national service group meetings. To attend as a delegate of their Trade Union at meetings of a committee or sub-committee of the TUC. May 2014 Page 11 of 13

12 To undertake arrangements for and conduct workplace meetings and ballots of the membership as required by law. 48. Timing and time off arrangements for meetings with members will be agreed in discussion with the headteacher / principal in advance and where matters deal with work related issues the assumption will be that reasonable time off will be granted. If meetings are held outside normal working hours time off in lieu will be granted. 49. Overtime payments will not be made for any time spent on union duties over and above normal working hours. 50. The headteacher / principal or their nominee will always endeavour to ensure that any meetings they arrange that involve Trade Union representatives will occur during normal working hours and as required, but at least 3 times a year. Training 51. It is agreed on the need for representatives to understand clearly their duties and rights, and agree jointly to encourage their representatives to undergo union accredited training so that they may achieve the skills required to carry out their responsibilities in the best interests of their members and the schools / academies of Wiltshire. 52. There will be no paid overtime for time spent on Trade Union training over and above normal working hours. 53. The timing of training must be agreed with the representative s headteacher / principal and will not be unreasonably refused. Interpretation, Variation and Termination 54. Any disputes as to the interpretation of this Agreement shall be referred to the teachers Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). In the event of a failure to agree, the Council and Trade Unions shall take such further steps as may be necessary to resolve their differences, which may include referring the matter to Provincial Council, National Joint Council and/or ACAS. May 2014 Page 12 of 13

13 55. Either side may submit proposals to amend this Agreement. Such proposals will be in writing and will be the subject of joint negotiations through the teachers JCC in line with 34 above. Signed May 2014 For the Council For NASUWT For ASCL For NAHT For ATL - For NUT - May 2014 Page 13 of 13