The full Framework Agreement of Industrial Relations (FAIR) is also available.

Purpose and Scope

Aberdeen City Council and its recognised trades unions have worked together
successfully over a number of years. This document represents an approach appropriate
to the industrial relations within Aberdeen City Council that supports the positive aspects
that have been developed. It recognises that in this day and age the approach to industrial
relations for a modern public sector organisation has to be where all stakeholders work
together.

The framework agreement identifies the principles of this new and inclusive approach to
industrial relations. It seeks to promote trust between all parties where open and honest
views can be exchanged and considered in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.
This approach recognises trade unions as important stakeholders in the
provision of services to the citizens of Aberdeen.

Working together involves recognising that there will be times when the parties to the
agreement have different views on the way forward. This document will not address every
issue in respect of how the Council will deal with individual industrial relations issues or
problems. However, the framework requires the use of effective communication and
procedures to resolve any differences and to allow all, where-ever possible, to come to an
acceptable consensus.

In recognising the right of trade unions to represent, as they consider appropriate, the
views of their members, the Council is responsible, through its managers to make
decisions for the proper delivery of services.

The framework identifies and specifies the provisions within the six key elements of the industrial relations relationship, these are: –

  • Element 1 Trades unions recognition protocol
  • Element 2 Time off for trades unions duties and activities
  • Element 3 Roles and accreditation of lay trade union officials (including Code
    of Conduct)
  • Element 4 Procedure for dealing with and resolving disputes
  • Element 5 Trades union facilities
  • Element 6 Training and development of elected trade union officials and shop
    stewards

It is envisaged that this Framework Agreement will create the positive working
relationships between the management of Aberdeen City Council and trade unions to
make Aberdeen the vibrant, safe and prosperous place to live and work.

Principles

The purpose of the framework agreement is to aid and improve the relationships between
Aberdeen City Council and the trades unions it recognises for collective bargaining purposes. It has been developed and agreed in recognition of the fact that working together is a central and necessary feature of industrial relations in the context of Aberdeenfutures.

The founding principles for this framework agreement are:

• Statutory compliance

All matters are undertaken within statutory requirements and that there is nothing
within this agreement which compromises the legal rights of any of the partners.
This refers, in particular, to the rights identified, at the time this agreement is
reached, within the Trade union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, the
Employment Rights Act 1996, Employment Relations Act 1999 and other statutory
codes of practice.

• Inclusive approach to decision making

Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to a “can-do” culture and working ethos is
supported through effective consultation and communication and an inclusive
approach to decision making.

• Mutuality of interest

Working with all recognised trade unions represent a legitimate, vital and positive
component of the organisation and is a dynamic element of decision making of the
Council. Working together, towards the vision and values of the Council, there is a
shared objective to improve all aspects of organisational effectiveness to the benefit
to staff, trade unions, management, and most importantly the citizens of Aberdeen.

• Communication

Clear consistent channels of communication (see Section 4) are established and
maintained between Council management and trades unions at all levels of the
organisation. This will be reinforced in the form of agreed timescales for formal
consultation and arrangements for dealing with formal disputes.

• Confidentiality

From time to time information will be shared amongst parties to the agreement,
which may be sensitive, and provided on a confidential basis. Where information is
of a confidential nature this will be explicitly stated, otherwise it will be appropriate
for the information to be shared with members and other Union Officials. The
confidentiality of information, where stated, shall be respected by all signatories to
the agreement and nothing will be done to compromise or undermine both the
spirit, as well as the letter, of the agreement in respect of the sharing of confidential
information.

• Transparency and openness

In keeping with commitments made to the citizens we serve, the Council will make
decisions in a spirit of openness. This includes explicit commitments in respect of
access to relevant information and involvement in the decision making process.

• Code of Conduct

Signatories to this agreement shall perform their duties and responsibilities in
accordance with a code of conduct. The respective organisations will be
responsible for the implementation of the code of conduct in taking appropriate
action in accordance with their own policies and procedures.

• Problem solving

At all stages and all levels every effort will be made to work together to achieve the
aims and objectives identified by the Council. Where there are differences on
issues, all parties will engage in a constructive dialogue based on a problem solving
approach to find a mutually agreeable solution.

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