Trade Union Relations Policy

Date Drafted: Summer 2017
Date approved by Trust Board:  
Date adopted by LGB:  
Review Frequency: Annually
To be reviewed by: HR Committee

1) Coverage

The Northworthy Trust recognises the following unions and professional associations:

Throughout this policy the following definitions apply:

“The Trust” means the Northworthy Trust, its Local Governing Bodies and other persons having responsibility for the management of the Trust and its schools.

“The trade unions” means the recognised trade unions and professional associations as listed above.

2) Principles and Objectives

The Trust believes that the role of the trade unions is important in helping to ensure that its Aims and Objectives are met to secure the best possible outcomes for young people. It is the intention of the Trust that this policy is effective in establishing good practice with regard to matters of employment, consultation and transparency.

The Trust wishes to engage in a professional dialogue with all staff and their representatives so that there is a sense of teamwork and shared responsibility. A fundamental principle of the policy is that disputes will be resolved at the earliest possible stage, through the use of agreed procedures and by consultation and/or negotiation.

3) Trade Union Representatives

Trade union representatives will be appointed in accordance with the rules of the individual trade unions concerned. The trade unions will inform the Trust in writing of the names of their appointed representatives.

The number of trade union representatives appointed and recognised shall be a matter of agreement between the Trust and the relevant trade unions. The number of trade union representatives to be appointed and recognised will be reasonable taking into account the constituencies to be represented.

Trade union members shall be entitled to be represented by employed officials or local representatives of the trade union, where the trade union considers this to be necessary in the circumstances.

The Trust undertakes that no trade union representative will suffer any disadvantage as a result of undertaking this role on behalf of trade union members. The Trust will not take any disciplinary action against a trade union representative until an employed official of that trade union has been consulted.

4) Facilities for trade union representatives and members

The Trust will allocate trade union representatives reasonable facilities time during their normal working hours for the purpose of carrying out trade union duties on behalf of Trust employees, as follows but will consider requests for additional time in exceptional circumstances:

Number of paid up members represented by the Trade Union (in addition to the representative (s)) Facilities time per fortnight
0-5 None
6-30 ½ hour
31+ 1 hour

Permission will be given for reasonable time away from their normal duties, with pay, for trade union representatives in order to attend training courses and meetings, and for trade union Health and Safety representatives to discharge the responsibilities of their role. The Trust is an education institution where the needs of students are paramount and these needs must be a key consideration when making a decision about requests for release for trade union activity.


The Trust will provide access to:
• reasonable accommodation to hold meetings and to interview members in a confidential manner
• confidential access to and reasonable free use of telephone, fax and email facilities and computing and photocopying facilities
• space on staff room notice boards and the school network systems

The Trust will not unreasonably refuse to allow trade union members to hold meetings on the premises outside their normal working hours, including at lunchtimes and immediately following the end of the school day. The trade unions will give reasonable notice of such meetings to the Trust. The Trust will not unreasonably seek to place restrictions on the frequency or duration of such meetings or to the attendance of employed officials or local representatives of the trade union at such meetings.

5) Consultation

The Trust will consult meaningfully with members of staff and their union representatives on matters related to terms and conditions of service and significant proposed changes to employment procedures and organisational arrangements. The Trust has a clearly established cycle of meetings in which all staff have an opportunity for discussion and contribution. All managers and team leaders in the school have a role to play in managing these meetings so that there is full participation.

The trade union representatives based within Trust schools will meet with the relevant Headteacher, or his representative, twice per term. On one of these occasions each term the Chair of the Local Governing Body will also join the meeting.

Where an issue or concern cannot be resolved in this forum, trade union representatives may reasonably request permission from the Chair of Governors to address the full Governing Body. In these circumstances trade union representatives will be expected to submit papers in advance of the meeting, outlining the points they wish to raise, in line with the Governing Body’s protocols. Similarly, the Governing Body will reserve the right to invite trade union representatives to attend a full or committee meeting where appropriate.


Go to top