We want to ensure that our policies and procedures provide fair treatment to all our employees. However, in any organisation as large and complex as us collective disputes may still happen. This policy and procedure has been developed following negotiation with the recognised trade unions to provide a way of resolving disputes that might come up from groups of employees.
A “collective dispute” is defined as a dispute notified by a recognised trade union, in line with the collective disputes procedure, on behalf of a group of our employees.
If you are unable to resolve your concerns informally your trade union representative acting on your behalf will raise a collective grievance for your group with the relevant line manager by completing the Collective Dispute Procedure Form (Appendix 1). A copy should also be forwarded to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) for information. Your manager will acknowledge receipt of the collective dispute within 7 calendar days.
Your manager will consider if your concerns affect other teams within your Department and seek advice from the HR Team.
If the matter only affects your group your manager will arrange a meeting with your trade union. This should normally take place within 21 calendar days of receiving the formal dispute to try and find a solution. Your trade union representative will receive a written reply to confirm the outcome and the reasons for the decision within a further 14 calendar days of the meeting taking place. A copy should also be sent to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) for information.
If the matter affects more than one section of the same department your manager will discuss the issue with relevant section managers before arranging a meeting. Where appropriate, relevant section managers may also attend the meeting with your trade union representative. Your trade union representative will receive a written reply to confirm the outcome and the reasons for the decision within a further 14 calendar days of the meeting taking place. A copy should also be sent to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) for information.
If the issue affects other Departments, the HR Team will arrange a meeting with the relevant managers of the departments concerned and your trade union representative to try and find a solution. Your trade union representative will receive a written reply to confirm the outcome and the reasons for the decision within a further 14 calendar days of the meeting taking place. A copy should also be sent to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) for information. Alternatively the matter may be referred to the Corporate Employee Relations Forum to consider/resolve.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may raise the collective dispute at the next stage through your trade union representative. This should be done, in writing to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) within 14 calendar days of receipt of your manager’s decision.
If a written reply is not received by the trade union representative(s) within the specified time the matter can also be referred to the second stage of the procedure.
Your trade union representative(s) may raise the collective dispute in writing to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management). This should be done by completing the Collective Dispute Procedure Form (Appendix 1). Copies of any previous correspondence should be enclosed with the letter.
In certain situations, i.e. where both parties agree that discussion at Stage 1 of the Collective Disputes Procedure is not appropriate and that the dispute should be registered directly at the second stage, your trade union representative is advised to write and explain the reasons why to the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) who will acknowledge receipt of the collective dispute within 7 calendar days
The Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) will arrange a Stage 2 Meeting to consider the collective dispute with your trade union representative to try and seek a solution. The Stage 2 Panel will include two Directors (or their nominated Head of Service) and a member of the Executive Board. The Stage 2 Meeting should be held at a reasonable time and place and take place as soon as possible.
The Panel will consider all the information put forward by you and your manager, your individual views and, if appropriate, written statements may be requested and exchanged prior to the meeting.
The decision of the Stage 2 Panel will be final and details of any agreement reached, or a summary of the situation for you and your manager, together with the decision and recommendations made by the Stage 2 Panel will be formally recorded and sent to you both within 7 calendar days of the meeting.
The time periods for managers to arrange meetings and notify you of the decision can be varied by mutual agreement.
If you and your manager fail to agree at Stage 2 either one of you may suggest that the concern is referred to Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) for conciliation. The terms of reference need to be agreed jointly in advance of the referral.
Your manager and your trade union representative will make sure that the terms of any settlement agreed at any of the above stages are observed and implemented.
It is a requirement that all parties do not speak to the media about any aspects of the negotiations involved with the collective dispute until all parties agree the procedure has been exhausted.
During a collective grievance meeting, your trade union representative should be allowed to explain your group’s concerns and say how they think it should be settled. If necessary, the person chairing the collective grievance meeting may wish to adjourn to enable him/her to gather further information or obtain advice. A date for a re-convened meeting will be agreed at that time if possible.
Following the meeting, a written response should be sent to your trade union representative within 14 calendar days.
Wherever possible a collective grievance should be dealt with in accordance with this procedure before you leave employment. However if you leave employment with us partway through the Collective Dispute procedure, then we are under no obligation to hear the grievance.
In these circumstances, advice should be sought from the HR Team.
Written records will be kept throughout the collective grievance process, including:
- A copy of the written grievance and subsequent appeals if relevant
- Copies of meeting notes
- A copy of the written response(s) provided to the employee
- Details of action taken
Records will be kept for each employee involved in the collective grievance on your personal file.
Records should be treated as confidential and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation.
Copies of the collective grievance meeting notices, meeting notes, response letter, etc will be sent to the Trade Union official representing the collective grievance on behalf of your group of employees concerned, unless you advise otherwise, in writing.
All Officers and Councillors involved in the collective disputes process will receive appropriate support and/or training. Visit the Learning and Development section of the Intranet for more information.
This policy must be applied consistently to all employees irrespective of race, colour, ethnic or national origins (including citizenship), language, disability, religion, belief or non belief, age, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, parental or marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.
If you have any equality and diversity concerns in relation to the application of this policy and procedure, please contact a member of the HR Team who will, if necessary, ensure the policy/procedure is reviewed accordingly.
Page updated: 08/07/2019 11:56:41