Trade union facility time

This data is now available to download from Data Mill North.

The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 require the Council to publish, on an annual basis, a range of data and cost of trade union facility time within the organisation.

The information disclosed here complies with above regulations and also the publication requirements in the Local Government Transparency Code.

The information is published on this page for the Education Function and the Central Function.

This Council does not administer a Fire and Rescue Function.

Trade Unions play an important role in the modern workplace. There are significant benefits to both employers and employees when organisations and unions work together effectively however, as a public body, we also understand the need for transparency and accountability.

Employers have a legal obligation (under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992) to provide facilities for trade unions to function within the workplace, including a legal obligation to grant time off with pay.  To meet this obligation the Council agrees to release a number of staff from their duties to carry out their trade union duties as elected lay officials of the recognised unions across the Council.

As with other local authorities, the Council continues to face major challenges in delivering services with constantly reducing budgets across all services and this results in an annual statutory Section 188 consultation process with the trade unions on budget reduction proposals and the avoidance or reduction in the number of potential redundancies. The Education function faces the same budgetary challenges requiring statutory consultation processes in schools and additionally a continuing programme of conversions to Academies which also require statutory consultation processes with the trade unions.

The Council also has a statutory obligation to provide paid time off for trade union representatives to carry out health & safety inspections and duties and to provide representation to their members. The Council also consults with the trade unions about a variety of issues that affect employment.

Trade Union representatives also undertake trade union duties and activities in their own time and therefore that time is not reflected in these figures.

Explanatory Notes - Education Function

The Council operates a shared facility time fund which is an efficient and effective way of discharging statutory trade union consultation and other facility time obligations across maintained schools and for those Academies and non-maintained Schools who contribute to the shared facility time fund.

The Education function shared facility time fund provides the funding for 8.7 FTE trade union representatives to be released from their duties.

The Council’s contribution to the Education function shared facility time budget is £246,864 which is approximately two thirds of the total funding with Academies and non-maintained Schools contributing one third. The slightly higher figure declared in table 3 represents the additional notional ‘cost’ of time off for trade union duties provided to trade union stewards based in some Schools.

However, the Council only employs 2.2 FTE of the 8.7 FTE trade union representatives that the Council funds to be released from their roles under the shared facility time arrangements. Therefore the information in tables 1, 2 and 4 only applies to those representatives that the Council employs.

The other elected trade union representatives are employed in Academies or other non-maintained Schools where the Council is not the employer. Therefore, it is the responsibility of those employers to disclose the information in tables 1, 2 and 4.

The facility time data that organisations are required to collate and publish under the new regulations is shown below.

Table 1: Relevant Union Officials

What was the total number of your employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period?

Number of employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period Full-time equivalent employee number

11

2.26

Table 2: Percentage of time spent on facility time

How many of your employees who were relevant union officials employed during the relevant period spent a) 0%, b) 1%-50%, c) 51%-99% or d) 100% of their working hours on facility time?

Percentage of time Number of employees

0%

 

1-50%

7

51%-99%

 

100%

4

Table 3: Percentage of pay bill spent on facility time

Provide the figures requested in the first column of the table below to determine the percentage of the total pay bill spent on paying employees who were relevant union officials for facility time during the relevant period.

First Column Figures

Provide the total cost of facility time

£247,906

Provide the total pay bill

£186,962,168

Provide the percentage of the total pay bill spent on facility time, calculated as:

(total cost of facility time ÷ total pay bill) x 100

0.13%

Table 4 - Paid trade union activities

As a percentage of total paid facility time hours, how many hours were spent by employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period on paid trade union activities?

Time spent on paid trade union activities as a percentage of total paid facility time hours calculated as:

(total hours spent on paid trade union activities by relevant union officials during the relevant period ÷ total paid facility time hours) x 100

0.2%

Explanatory Notes - Council Central Function

The total cost of the Council’s Central facility time budget is £273,600. The higher figure declared in table 3 represents a slightly lower spend on that budget due to some vacant Convenors but with the additional notional ‘cost’ of time off for trade union duties provided to trade union stewards based in services across the Council.

The Council funds 7.3 FTE trade union representatives for the Central function.

Although some of the facility time cost in table 3 is funded by and used in the Education function, the regulations require that the cost of facilities time used must be shown against the function in which the trade union representative is employed.

Table 1: Relevant Union Officials

What was the total number of your employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period?

Number of employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period Full-time equivalent employee number

80

9.85

Table 2: Percentage of time spent on facility time

How many of your employees who were relevant union officials employed during the relevant period spent a) 0%, b) 1%-50%, c) 51%-99% or d) 100% of their working hours on facility time?

Percentage of time Number of employees

0%

8

1-50%

62

51%-99%

 

100%

10

Table 3: Percentage of pay bill spent on facility time

Provide the figures requested in the first column of the table below to determine the percentage of the total pay bill spent on paying employees who were relevant union officials for facility time during the relevant period.

First Column Figures

Provide the total cost of facility time

294,612

Provide the total pay bill

211,637,840

Provide the percentage of the total pay bill spent on facility time, calculated as:

(total cost of facility time ÷ total pay bill) x 100

0.14%

Table 4: Paid trade union activities

As a percentage of total paid facility time hours, how many hours were spent by employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period on paid trade union activities?

Time spent on paid trade union activities as a percentage of total paid facility time hours calculated as:

(total hours spent on paid trade union activities by relevant union officials during the relevant period ÷ total paid facility time hours) x 100

 

2.6%

Names of the trade unions recognised by the local authority

Unison, GMB, Unite, UCATT, BECTU, Community, NUT, NAHT, NASUWT, ATL, ASCL, VOICE, PROSPECT, AEP, RCN, RCM and BMA.

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