Trade Union FAQs

Are staff side representatives entitled to paid time off to undertake union duties?

Recognised staff side representatives are entitled to paid time off to undertake the following this is in line with the Facility Policy:

  • Conducting official elections/ballots in respect of local joint consultation and negotiation arrangements
  • Attending meetings of the JCNC, including pre-meeting
  • Attending staff side meetings
  • Attending other meetings as agreed with the organisation
  • Taking part in Job Matching, Analysis, Evaluation or Consistency Panels
  • Representing members in meetings with management concerning the application of discipline, grievance and other policies where members of staff have the right to be represented
  • Attending information meetings where members of staff and management have agreed staff side may be present and where there is no formal right of representation
  • Representing individuals or groups of staff at Appeal Hearings
  • Communicating with members concerning employment relations matters
  • Representing individuals or groups (as authorised by the Trade Union concerned) at meetings of external bodies, i.e. Employment Tribunals
  • Attendance at a National Conference of the Trade Union concerned
  • Attending relevant training approved by the Trade Union concerned. An application for leave must be made available to the manager on request.

Can a manager refuse a request for time off to undertake staff side duties?

Yes, the manager needs to consider the needs of the service when considering the request. If it is necessary to refuse the time off the manager will provide the employee with the reasons for doing so.

Does the organisation provide facilities for staff side representatives?

The organisation will provide accommodation for meetings, telephone/ fax / e-mail facilities, the use of official notice boards and the use of the organisation mail system. The organisation will also endeavour to provide office accommodation for the shared use of staff side representatives.

What arrangements are in place for paid time off to undertake union duties?

Time off must be agreed in advance with the line manager.

What is the JNCC?

The Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee and The Joint Local Negotiating Committee provide the organisation and staff side with a forum for information sharing, discussion, consultation and negotiation.

Which staff side organisations are recognised by the organisation?

  • British Dietetic Association (BDA)
  • British Medical Association (BMA)
  • British Orthoptic Society (BDS)
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
  • Society of Radiographers Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
  • Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
  • Unison
  • Unite