Agreement between Primark Northern Ireland and Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) - December 2015

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1. RECOGNITION AND SCOPE

The Company recognises Usdaw has the sole negotiating rights for all staff employed at Primark in Northern Ireland.

The Company recognises the Union for the purposes of collective bargaining and negotiations relating to all contractual arrangements.

2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

i.The Company has agreed that the Union’s responsibility to represent the interests of its members, whilst the Union recognises the company’s responsibility to seek to achieve and maintain maximum efficiency of operation.

ii.The Company will provide facilities for the appropriate representative to meet new employees as part of the induction procedure.

3. REPRESENTATION

Employees of the Company who are members of the Union may be elected as workplace

representatives to represent Union members in accordance with the terms of this agreement.

3.1. Appointment

i. The Company and the Union will agree the number of representatives required with a maximum of three Representatives to deliver maximum coverage to include weekends within individual retail stores.

ii. Representatives must have not less than one year's service with the Company prior to nomination.

iii. As soon as an employee ceases to be a member of the Union their appointment as a Union representative will cease.

iv. All representatives must be mutually acceptable to the Union and the Company. The Company will not unreasonably object to a choice of representative. In the event that the Company objects to a specific nomination, their objections will be put in writing to the Area Organiser concerned. The Area Organiser can appeal against the objection to the Area Manager, following which a meeting will be held to resolve the matter.

v. The Union will provide the Company with a list of appointed representatives and will supply credentials to its representatives.

vi. The Company and the Union recognise that it is in the interests of their relationship for Union representatives to receive relevant training to achieve the skills required to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

The Company agrees to provide union representatives with reasonable time off work without loss of earnings to attend approved Usdaw training in accordance with the provisions set out in the LRA code of practice “Time off for Trade Union Duties and Activities”; and as per the mutually agreed course list.

The Union undertakes to give the Company a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice in writing of all requests for training leave, where it is reasonably practicable. Leave will be granted, subject to the operational needs of the business, including level of absence, time of year and the number of employees requesting to attend the course.

3.2. Facilities

i. The Company will give access to facilities comprising, telephone, photocopier, mail and a place to keep union documents.

ii. The Company will, wherever possible, make available accommodation for meetings of Union members. The dates and times of such meetings will be agreed between the parties and will be arranged to minimise disruption to the activities of the Company. The Union undertakes to give the Company a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice in writing.

iii.Union representatives will be permitted to take reasonable time off without loss of earnings to carry out their duties and responsibilities under this agreement in accordance with the provisions of the LRA code of practice “Time off for Trade Union Duties and Activities”.

iv. Representatives seeking time off for union duties will submit their request to management as far as possible in advance with the reason and likely length of absence.

v. Should the Company request that such time off be postponed for operational reasons, the parties will endeavour to agree a suitable alternative. Neither party will act unreasonably on the question of postponement.

vi. The Company will provide union representatives with reasonable facilities to communicate with other employees, for example space on a notice board (in larger stores, where possible, a dedicated noticeboard; in smaller stores a section of the notice board). The Store/P&C Manager at each store will be informed of the content of the material before it is to be displayed and may withhold any material deemed inappropriate

vii. The company will deduct Union subscriptions from salaries of employees who wish to pay their subscriptions this way, subject to completion of the appropriate form and will encourage use of this facility. The company will notify the Union of any change of the member’s address.

4. RECRUITMENT

The Company provides Usdaw with the facilities to recruit new members and encourages all

employees to join and remain in membership of Usdaw whilst employed by the Company.

The key opportunity for recruitment is at new starter inductions with other methods of

recruitment remaining ongoing. To assist with this:

• Usdaw recruitment literature and an Usdaw membership application form will be given out with the induction pack to new starters by the Usdaw Representative/Area Organiser.

• The Company will provide facilities for the appropriate representative to meet new employees as part of the induction procedure, usdaw Representatives/Area Organisers will be invited to attend induction sessions to promote the benefits of Usdaw membership and will be allowed around 30 minutes to make an appropriate presentation (including questions and answers).

• The company will notify the Usdaw National Officer of all new store openings a minimum of four weeks prior to opening with details of store address and contact details.

• In the event of a new store opening, an Usdaw Representative/Official will be allowed around 30 minutes to make an appropriate presentation (including questions and answers) as part of the induction programme.

• Primark will also provide recruitment time and facilities for recognised Usdaw Officials to meet existing employees. This will be agreed with the Store/P&C Manager.

• From time to time, Usdaw may request that an Usdaw Representative is stood down from their normal role, typically for a maximum of 12 weeks, to recruit non-members into Usdaw. Wages for all periods of stand down will be paid by the Company and reimbursed monthly by Usdaw.

• The Company will support an annual recruitment campaign at a date and time to be agreed locally to enable employees to take up membership.

5. LEARNING

5.1 Academy/Academy2

Primark agrees to consider release for a maximum of two nominated Usdaw Representatives per year to participate in Usdaw’s Academy or Academy2 for six months. Eight weeks’ notice to be given.

The Usdaw Area Organiser will formally request release from the relevant Store Manager to participate in either Academy.

Wages for ail periods of stand down will be paid by the Company and reimbursed monthly by Usdaw.

5.2 Usdaw’s Annual Delegate Meeting

The Company will support release for 2 Primark Usdaw Representatives to attend the Usdaw Annual Delegate Meeting, subject to 6 weeks advance notice in writing.

5.3 Lifelong Learning

All parties recognise the benefits of lifelong learning and development and that it is essential to the successful future of the organisation and individuals who work there. Therefore, all parties are committed to working together to promote and support Lifelong Learning across the Company and ensure equal access to learning opportunities for all employees.

6. COMMUNICATION

i. Both parties recognise that regular communication between the Company and its employees is vital. The Company and the Union are committed to effective, ongoing communications.

ii. To facilitate this process, there will be meetings twice per year to provide Company updates and to discuss agreed agenda items.

iii. The attendees will comprise of Primark management determined by the Company, one representative from each store and the Usdaw local Area Organiser.

iv. Minutes will be circulated to all attendees.

7. BARGAINING ARRANGEMENTS

i. The Local Negotiating Committee (LNC), comprising of Primark management determined by the Company, representatives from each store and the Usdaw Area

Organiser, will meet annually to discuss the Union’s pay claim and more frequently if required.

The number of representatives on the LNC will be decided as follows:

Stores with up to 200 members of staff - one representative Stores with 300 members of staff or over - two representatives

ii. All items for inclusion in the Union's wage claim will be submitted to the Company at least two weeks prior to the review meeting.

iii. A meeting will be held with all Representatives the day after the negotiations to communicate the outcome.

Following this meeting there will be a communication of the decisions through an agreed joint statement, issued by the Union and the Company. The joint statement will be distributed to all Local Negotiating Committee members, relevant Management employees, Union representatives and displayed on employee/Usdaw notice boards.

iv. The joint statement, giving details of the proposed settlement, will be put to the Union members and voted on in a secret ballot, conducted by the Union.

7.2 FAILURE TO AGREE

i. The parties recognise that differences between them will arise and are committed to resolving these differences.

ii. The following procedure is designed to enable such differences to be resolved in a spirit of mutual trust and openness.

iii. The parties agree that they will work to avoid any breakdown in their discussions and the taking of unilateral action.

Stage One

Any matters in dispute will be discussed between officials of the union and the appropriate levels of management and a resolution attempted.

Stage Two

If the matter has not been resolved at Stage One, it may be discussed between the appropriate Company Senior Management and the Union's National Officer or Divisional Officer.

Stage Three

If the matter has not been resolved at Stage Two, parties will agree to the matter being referred to the Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

In the event of a failure to agree the Union will not take action until this process has been followed and exhausted. The status quo will be maintained during the process.

8. SECURITY OF EMPLOYMENT

The Usdaw Area Organiser will be given notification of any store closures or proposed redundancies as soon as is reasonably practicable having regard to competitive and confidentiality factors. 

SIGNATORIES TO THE AGREEMENT

All those who have signed below signify their acceptance of this agreement between Primark Stores Limited and Usdaw.

This agreement is not intended to be contractual.

This Agreement becomes effective between the parties from the date of signature. If either party wishes to terminate the agreement, they must give six months’ notice in writing, to the Head Office of the Company or Union as appropriate.

- Signed on behalf of Primark Stores Limited

Dave Bradley

Director of People & Culture, Retail Primark

- Signed on behalf of the Union of Shop, Distributive And Allied Workers -

David Gill

Usdaw National Officer

Date: 29 - 12 - 2015

Agreement between Primark Northern Ireland and Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) - December 2015

Start date: → 2015-12-29
End date: → Not specified
Ratified by: → Other
Ratified on: → 2015-12-29
Name industry: → Retail trade
Name industry: → Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores
Public/private sector: → In the private sector
Concluded by:
Name company: →  Primark Northern Ireland
Names trade unions: →  USDAW - Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

TRAINING

Training programmes: → Yes
Apprenticeships: → No
Employer contributes to training fund for employees: → No
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