Workplace relations entered a new era in Hartlepool when three academy trusts signed a historic recognition agreement with leading Hartlepool trade unions.
Academies are schools which have moved out of the local authority family of schools and now act as employers in their own right. As independent employers, the academies have freedom to implement their own pay scales, operate their own policies and use their own admission systems.
Along with the other unions, UNISON works to maintain proper levels of pay and conditions for all staff employed by the academies.
On behalf of the three academy trusts, Andy Brown, CEO of Ad Astra Academy Trust stated: “The signing of this agreement gives notice that we all recognise the value of our employees and their representatives. We are committed to continuing with our good working relationship with the trade unions”.
Edwin Jeffries, Hartlepool joint trades union committee secretary, said: “This agreement recognises the value of trade unions and the protection given to workers’ pay and conditions as we move forward, in partnership with the academies”.
Debbie Lydon, chair of UNISON’s local government service group congratulated the academy trusts and the Hartlepool Joint Trade Union Committee; “Looking forward, we welcome discussions with other academy trusts across the region as UNISON looks to ensure that workers remain protected under nationally negotiated terms and conditions”.
The three academy trusts are: Ad Astra, Holy Family and Stranton and the signatory trade unions are: UNISON, Unite, GMB, NUT, NASUWT, NAHT, ASCL, ATL and Voice.