Unions sign agreement with The Challenge Academy Trust

TRADE Unions this week signed an agreement with the newly-formed multi-academy trust in Warrington.

On Monday representatives put their names to a Trade Union Recognition Agreement following six months of discussions with The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT).

Pam Howard, of UNISON, said: “We are extremely pleased at the working relationship that has developed with the trust and we are looking forward to working constructively together.

“Maintaining the terms and conditions of the staff will be key for us and it will assist towards the continued success of each academy as well as the academic achievements of their pupils and students.”

TCAT is one of the most inclusive trusts in the country as it will include Priestley College, high schools and primaries as well as a faith school.

It has an ongoing commitment to only employing qualified teachers and providing the best education possible for all young people.

Shaun Everett, who signed the agreement on behalf of the NUT and ATL unions, said: “We have established a relationship that is based on trust.

“All staff can be reassured they will not only be consulted about future changes, but will also have a structure at both school and trust level which allows them to negotiate these changes.”

The first meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) will take place before the end of this academic year to plan for the future.

Mick Burrows, of NASUWT, said: “What the agreement ensures is that if there are any changes to employees’ terms and conditions in future there will be consultation and engagement before any decision is made.

“It’s in everyone’s interests to have good relationships and we see our role as unions as constructive and positive.”

Priestley’s Principal Matthew Grant, who is also Chief Executive of the trust, added: “We are delivering on the promises set out during the academy consultation and staff can be reassured we have a genuinely good relationship with the unions.

“By working together we can help ensure everyone who is employed by the academies is happy and secure in their work, which will help them to deliver a first-class education for all our young people.”

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