Trade union set for recognition by South Ribble

South Ribble Council headquarters where decision will be taken tonight.
South Ribble Council headquarters where decision will be taken tonight.
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The UK’s largest trade union looks set to win formal recognition from a Lancashire council for the first time.

Unison, whose members form more than half of South Ribble’s staff, is on the verge of signing a Voluntary Recognition Agreement with the Labour-run authority.

Councillors will be asked to approve the partnership tonight at a meeting of the full council in Leyland Civic Centre (inset).

A report, which will go before members, says: “South Ribble Council has for many years had a working relationship with Unison, but this arrangement has never been formally adopted and recognised.

"There are clear organisational advantages for trade union recognition and there fore this Voluntary Recognition Agreement should be considered to be a positive and significant marker in strengthening and supporting the working relationship between the council and Unison.”

Currently there are 153 Unison members employed by the council, representing 55 per cent of the workforce.

South Ribble has stressed that the voluntary agreement can be amended at any time and it is not legally binding.

“By not recognising the union there is a risk to undermine the trust and confidence of staff and union members,” added the report.

“A thriving, well-run organisation is good for the workforce and therefore trade unions want to see the council doing well.

"Trade union recognition has many advantages for both employers and employees.”

Unison is the biggest trade union in the UK with 1.4m members working largely in the public sector.