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Trade Union Partnership Working

Trade Union Partnership Working

Working in Partnership Together to provide exceptional patient care

The Trust values the positive contribution a constructive and genuine partnership approach to providing services can bring to the delivery of quality health and social care. We intend to develop our approach to working in partnership with Trade Unions, staff side and employees in shaping and considering future changes and being open and clear about the workforce implications of these.  

The Trust is committed to partnership working and to developing the relationship between managers, trades unions, staff side and staff groups to to ensure staff are involved and can shape the decisions that affect them in the workplace. The growing body of evidence shows that well engaged staff who feel valued and involved at work results in positive improvements in patient experience and outcomes.  

We aspire to having an employee relations climate within the Trust that reflects a positive and constructive relationship typical of that experienced in a genuine partnership model where employees report feeling valued and involved. This will mean that together we are open, honest and motivated by a combined drive to deliver high quality patient services through effective people management practices. 

The Trust needs to do more to communicate and engage with staff directly and we see this as sitting alongside the strong Staff Side representative-employer interface and will provide a further means of connecting frequently with staff directly on what matters to them. We believe that this will lead to a solution based approach to consultation and negotiation and an approach which is more inclusive and more able to reflect and support the diverse nature of our service provision and employment.

Time off for Trade Unions is crucial for partnership working

Trade union representatives undertake a variety of roles within an organisation – working with managers, communicating and consulting with staff, resolving problems and conflicts at work, jointly developing workplace policies, promoting workplace learning, resolving health and safety issues, handling disciplinary and grievance matters, and much more.  To be effective, union representatives need to have reasonable paid time off from their normal job to enable them to undertake the role. The links below provide further information on how time off for Trade Unions supports the Trust in delivering its services effectively.

Time off for trade union duties and activities including guidance on time off for union learning representatives (ACAS document), (PDF, 931Kb)

The Value of Trade Union Facility Time (NatCen Social Research), (PDF, 710Kb)


The Trust has agreed appropriate time-off and facilities arrangements so that the trade union representatives are able to participate in local partnership activities. The two links above provide the background on the benefit of having agreed TU facilities time. The Trust has developed a Partnership Agreement with Trade Unions and Staff side, this is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it continues to meet service needs. 

Consultation and Negotiation Arrangements in Partnership Framework (PDF, 188Kb)


In line with the provisions within the Trade Union Act 2016, the Trust provides facilities time release for two joint staff side leads who share the official duties associated with the corporate and collective bargaining mechanisms within the Trust. This is equivalent to one Band 6 role and has local representatives working in partnership with the Trust on casework resolution. 

Trade Union Facility Time (PDF, 11Kb)

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham