Draft Model Recognition Agreement and Disputes Procedure
The Code of Practice (1) makes it clear that once a union is recognised, the employer and the union should agree a method for conducting collective bargaining on pay, hours and holidays as a minimum, since otherwise recognition is virtually meaningless.
The Recognition Agreement should set out sufficient detail to ensure that effective collective bargaining can take place and should provide that meetings will take place at regular intervals in the run up to a regular date of pay review, which is specified in the agreement.
It is strongly recommended that a Recognition Agreement provides a mechanism by which any failure to agree or other collective dispute which arises can be resolved through negotiation or conciliation before any industrial action takes place. The parties may also wish to provide for independent mediation or arbitration in relation to any dispute.
A model Recognition Agreement is given below but of course is intended to be adapted to the particular circumstances/business sector:
RECOGNTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN
(NAME OF THE EMPLOYER)
(NAME OF THE TRADE UNION)
IN RESPECT OF (NAME OF BARGAINING UNIT)
Section 1: The Agreement
This agreement between (Name of Employer) (the Company) and (Name of Trade Union) (theUnion) is effective from (date) to recognize the Union within the Company for the purpose of representation of employees and to establish a framework for consultation and collective bargaining.
The Company and the Union both accept that future mutual success depends on a successful business and the key to this is the commitment and involvement of the staff.
- The Agreement builds on the best aspects of our relationship and it depends on mutual trust. It is based on our commitment to the objectives, principles and practices set out below.
- A commitment to building a better, healthy working environment as part of a better business environment.
- To work together to further the success of the business by enabling a flexible approach in a time of rapid and continuous change.
- To work together in a spirit of mutual confidence and co-operation, both formally and informally.
- To achieve fairness and equality in the treatment of staff, including transparent pay systems, contractual provisions that encourage equal treatment.
Principles and Practices
- The Company recognises the Union's right to represent staff and to consult with the Company on behalf of all its members across a range of issues including those listed below, details of which are set out in Section 3.
- Each party recognises and respects the other's different and shared interests;
- Both parties seek to avoid conflict, which will result in damage to the business; should a dispute arise it shall be dealt with in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures set out below and during such dispute resolution, neither party will take any action to the detriment of the other party.
- The Union recognises the Company's right and duty to manage.
- The Company undertakes to support the Union's recruitment efforts within the group of staff covered by this agreement, where appropriate.
- The relationship will be based on transparency. The Company will provide to the Union information about the state of the Company's business, so as to allow meaningful negotiations to take place.
- Not only will the minimum requirements of the law be adhered to but also the spirit of social legislation.
- Respecting confidentiality and sensitivity of information is paramount.
- The Union recognises its responsibility to ensure representatives receive appropriate training to successfully undertake their duties. Similarly, the Company recognises its obligation to support and provide release for such training.
- Unresolved conflict is a sign of mutual failure. Any conflict that may arise will be managed in accordance with the agreed dispute resolution procedure as detailed in section 2. 3.
Section 2: Dispute Resolution Procedure
1. The issue giving rise to concern to either party to this agreement will be discussed between the Company's Representatives, authorised by the Company to act on its behalf, and Staff Representatives (including Shop Stewards) at a regular or specially convened meeting at the earliest possible date, such discussions to be undertaken in the spirit of this agreement. Notes of the outcome of discussions will be taken and circulated to those present.
2. If there is a failure to resolve the issue to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, then reference shall be made to (a Director or the Proprietor, whichever is appropriate) of the Company and to the full-time Officer of the Union or in their absence their nominee. A meeting of the (Director or the Proprietor, whichever is appropriate) and Officer (or nominee), in the presence of Staff Representatives/Shop stewards if agreed by both parties, to specifically focus on the issue of concern will be held within 15 working days. Notes of the outcome of discussions will be taken and circulated to those present.
3. If there is a continued failure to agree, within a period of 15 working days from the date of the above meeting both Parties will jointly seek third party conciliation facilities via the Jersey Advisory & Conciliation Service, (JACS) in order to ensure that every effort is made to resolve the conflict within the spirit and procedures contained within this agreement.
4.The Union is committed to a procedure requiring an independently monitored, secret postal ballot on all issues amending pay & conditions of employment.
5. Non-resolution of the issue will be recognised by both parties as a mutual failure to achieve the principles and practices set out above. If the issue is not resolved by third party conciliation, both parties will give full and proper consideration to a reference to a mutually acceptable Arbitrator, whose decision shall be binding on both Parties. In the event that the Parties do not agree to refer the issue to an Arbitrator, it is recognised that some form of action may take place.
6. In the event that the parties wish to seek arbitration, JACS are able to assist with the appointment of an arbitrator from the Acas Panel of Arbitrators after consultation with the parties.
7. No industrial action will be taken by employees of the Company, who are members of the Union, in furtherance of or in connection with any dispute or grievance with the Company without a majority of those employees having voted in a secret ballot to take that industrial action.
Both Parties undertake to maintain the Status Quo in so far as normal business and Union relationships are concerned and neither Party will take any action to the detriment of the other Party until such time as a properly conducted secret ballot has taken place, all other attempts at dispute resolution having failed.
Status Quo: In the event of any difference arising that cannot be resolved, then whatever practice or agreement existed prior to the difference shall continue to operate pending a settlement under the Dispute Resolution Procedure. It shall be the spirit and intention of both Parties that there will be no undue or unreasonable delay in progressing issues through the agreed procedure.
Representatives, authorised by the Company to act on its behalf, and Staff Representatives (including Shop Stewards) will meet on a regular (e.g. quarterly or other such period as is agreed) basis for the purposes of formally communicating and informing one another. Matters of concern to one party or the other will be discussed at such meetings and any agreed outcomes will be formally minuted and circulated to those present and other relevant parties. Either the Company or the Union may request that a special meeting be convened and such requests will not unreasonably be refused.
Both parties agree to negotiate and reach agreement on any issues relating to the matters as agreed (examples below).
The following matters have been agreed as being subject to consultation and negotiation:
Pay Awards (this should include a pay review date)
Pay rates will be reviewed annually at each pay review date. A pay review meeting with staff representatives/shop stewards will be held at least (number) weeks before each annual review.
Rates of pay effective from the date of this agreement
(List of job categories and rates of pay expressed as hourly, weekly or annual sum.)
(Statement concerning any agreed overtime or shift rate)
Normal hours of work
(Detail the normal working hours/commencement and finish time and the days of the week over which the hours will be spread e.g. 40 hours per week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday with an unpaid 1 hour lunch break between the hours of 12 noon and 2 pm)
(Detail the holiday entitlement; the holiday year; allocation of annual leave (ie on a first come first served basis); and times during the year that holiday is not allowed; application for more than 2 weeks holiday etc)
(Any requirement to work and the rate of pay that will be paid; time off in lieu etc)
Note 1: The employer and union may agree that the scope of the collective agreement will include specific provision to cover any other terms that the parties agree will be appropriate. If so, sufficient detail should be included under each heading to adequately describe the negotiated provision got example:
Any other matter which both sides agree to refer to.
Note 2: In addition to the terms as set out in this agreement, each employee should be given Written Terms of Employment, at the latest within 4 weeks of commencing work. Details of matters to be included in the Written Terms can be obtained from JACS in hard copy or electronic format on www.jacs.org.je
Section 4: Review of pay and conditions
This Agreement shall continue to be in place unless 6 months notice to terminate is given in writing by either party. Rates of pay and or other conditions as set out in section 3 will be reviewed with representatives of the trade union on (date) each year in line with usual negotiated methods or long-term agreements. This commitment to review does not necessarily mean that pay or conditions will be increased.
If either party seeks to amend any aspect of the agreement or working methods currently in place, then that party shall give written notice of X (date) of their requirement to discuss such change(s) to the other party; unless both parties consent to such changes at the time.
In the event that such notice is given or received, a consultative meeting between authorised company representatives and staff representatives/shop stewards will be arranged by the company. The full-time officer of the union may request that they are present at any such meeting and the company shall not unreasonably refuse such a request.
Signed for and on behalf of Signed for and on behalf of
(Company name) (Trade union name)
Date of signature: ……………………………..
JACS July 2015