Unison has signed a national recognition agreement with the UK's largest waste management company.
The agreement will cover a substantial number of the 12,500 staff employed by Veolia Environmental Services, which provides waste collection, street cleansing and recycling and disposal services to more than 100 local authorities across the UK.
* Consultation and collective bargaining on terms and conditions
* Commitment to good industrial relations set out in shared principles
* Time off for staff taking on trade union duties
* Development of training and workplace learning opportunities for staff
* Health and safety training and development
* Establishing a national joint forum for employers and staff
The agreement follows years of close working between Unison and Veolia in Westminster City Council, where staff have had language courses and workplace learning initiatives.
Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said: "Studies have shown that unionised workplaces are safer places to be, and staff are often better paid and more productive.
"Union members are also more likely to benefit from workplace learning, and Unison will be looking to expand our pioneering training and language programmes developed at Veolia's Westminster depot.
"This agreement represents a big step forward in making sure staff working for private contractors, but providing public services, do not get a raw deal when it comes to their terms and conditions."
Veolia chief operating officer Tom Spaul said the agreement demonstrated the company commitment to consultation and collective bargaining and outlines a wide range of procedures fully approved by both sides.
This story first appeared on www.lgcplus.com