Working with Trades Unions

Business organisations may have an existing relationship with trade union that involves collective bargaining and representation. There may be a good reason to take stock and review the procedures and machinery of the relationship and institute a modernisation plan which would better serve the interests of both the firm, the trade union and the operation of the relationship including relationship including recognition procedural agreements, consultative arrangements and how disputes are addressed and resolved.

Firms may also and additionally be anticipating a future relationship with trades unions by way of privatisation, contract for services involving a business transfer, or through mergers or acquisition or may be faced with an application for trade union recognition – or may have to contemplate an arrangement in contrast to working with trades unions established for other business units.

Where collective bargaining exists it should operate to support the business operations and the efforts of everybody working within a firm and also facilitate the shared decision making on matters related to the expectations and mutual reliance in the employment relationship.

The very nature of involvement of a trade union is akin to a third party intruding on a business. So there need to be ground rules to regulate how the relationship operates and how business is conducted so that it reinforces, rather than weakens stability within the firm.

We can review existing trade union relationships, support the firm in planning for a new trade unions relationship and ensure future employment relations stability.

1 Existing trade union relationship

We can, with you, assess your current employment and trade unions relations and objectives. This will cover a review of your collective bargaining, consultation and communications arrangements, the procedures and machinery for negotiations and consultation and include the approach to pay and benefits determination and the production of agreements and joint memoranda.

The process will cover all or some of the following:

  • The review of working with trades unions.
  • Establish some objectives.
  • Creation of a Modernisation plan.
  • Programme and timetable for implementing modernisation plan.
  • Specific implementation arrangements. 

2 Prospective new trade union relationship

You may be faced with the prospect of recognising a trade union or trades unions by way of an application for recognition under the statutory scheme or because you are to acquire a business through a privatisation contract to deliver services, or through a merger or acquisition. We will be able to provide the planning and certainty to achieve stability so that the collective representational arrangements will support your business.

The process may include the following stages:

  • Review and clarification to the nature of future relationship – contract, merger, acquisition or recognition claim.
  • Establish a timetable and appropriated multiple-point plan.
  • Plan the structure and format of meetings with trades unions.
  • Plan to include production of recognition and procedural agreements.
  • Production of agreements covering pay and conditions of employment.
  • Ensure statement of written particulars is sound with supporting information or employee handbook.

3 Record of achievement

We are regularly engaged by firms to review and recommend appropriate action on employee relations issues, involving every aspect of the employment relationship whether contentious or non-contentious.

4 Service arrangements

The service arrangements would comprise a statement of requirement setting out the overall and specific objectives.

We have a flexible approach to charging rates and are happy to quote fixed prices and as well as daily or hourly rates.