HS2 strikes deal with unions on working agreements

Aaron Morby 6 years ago
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HS2 bosses have struck a deal with unions setting out the outline framework for working agreements on the overall high speed railway project.

HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby signs deal with TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady
HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby signs deal with TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

The top level initial framework agreement with the Trades Unions Congress sets out how the partners will discuss issues concerning the employment, development, diversity and inclusion of people working throughout the project’s supply chain.

It also provides a platform for future work package agreements to be agreed directly between the relevant contractors and unions with support from HS2 and the TUC.

Framework for subsequent work package agreements

• Commitment by HS2 and its suppliers to recognise and apply relevant national agreements
• That suppliers work constructively with trade unions party to this agreement,
acknowledging their legitimate role in employee relations
• Commitment to the Living Wage and London Living Wage where National Agreements
do not apply
• Enforceable commitment to support direct employment
• Commitments to develop the workforce, including arrangements on high-quality
apprenticeships, staff training and career development
• Promote equality, diversity and inclusion; and to challenge social exclusion and discrimination
• Promote opportunities to disadvantaged communities
• A commitment to the highest standards of workplace health, safety and wellbeing.

The Framework Agreement is to be ‘hard-wired’ into the procurement processes of HS2 and applied to subsequent work package agreements and tiers of suppliers.

HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby said: “Our mission is to be a high-performing, innovative organisation that delivers value for money by applying the best in worldwide design and construction techniques.

“To accomplish this mission we need to lead a safe, valued and effective workforce. This fundamental agreement underlines our responsibility as a direct employer as well as a commitment to the wider workforce that will deliver HS2 across our supply chain.

“I look forward to working with the TUC and their colleagues to provide the very best standards in areas such as safety and wellbeing, diversity and development.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “HS2 is a massive opportunity for workers in the construction and rail sectors. We look forward to working with HS2 and our member unions to ensure that equality, safety and respect are at the heart of the project.

“This agreement commits all those delivering HS2 to maximising benefits to the UK supply chain, crucial at a time when we are discussing the future of the UK steel industry.”

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