The deal encompasses the whole collective bargaining agenda including pay, terms and conditions and, should it occur in the future, restructuring. The company will also provide facilities on site for the trade union to operate.
LondonEnergy, which runs a waste-to-energy power station, operates as a private company but is wholly owned by seven north London boroughs. Its London Ecopark facility generates enough electricity to power 80,000 homes every year.
When the company was formally incorporated just before the turn of the millennium, all staff were subject to a TUPE transfer.
Unfortunately, in the absence of proof of an existing recognition agreement, the new management were always able to insist that there was no formal recognition deal with unions in place.
“In reality they did recognise us because they negotiate pay with us every year; they consult with us on staff issues and we have regular joint meetings with management,” said Julie Flanagan, Prospect negotiations officer, who signed the new deal with LondonEnergy management on 11 June.
“Various drafts have gone backwards and forwards over the last 10 years and we never actually got there. Something has always happened. But in the new year we finally got them to talk to us about a new recognition agreement, and we’ve finally got an agreed version.”
Prospect has traditionally represented senior engineers in the organisation, but the new agreement represents an opportunity to widen membership within the energy centre and to offices where skilled staff, managers and supervisors work.
On signing the deal, Flanagan paid tribute to rep Dave Oldfield, branch chair, who was “absolutely pivotal” for Prospect members in LondonEnergy and has been involved in all the negotiations.