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Trade union leaders and the Interim Mayor for Greater Manchester today (Friday 18th December 2015) signed a protocol for joint working on workforce matters. The agreement has been reached after discussions between trade union leaders and the Mayor, with agreement from the Combined Authorities, to ensure a worker voice is present in the discussions and decisions that will be made in the future.

The protocol recognises that “Staff play a vital role in the delivery of high quality public services” and that “high quality employment in public services plays a vital role in the functioning of the Greater Manchester economy and society” and covers the Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board and the Greater Manchester public service trade unions.

It also says that “The parties to this protocol are committed to working together and with full employee involvement and engagement to ensure that the devolution of powers to the Greater Manchester level can be of benefit to the citizens and employees of the city-region.” The full agreement can be read at the link below.

Kevan Nelson, Chair of the North West TUC Public Services Committee, and Regional Secretary of Unison North West, said: “It is important that the benefits of devolution are felt by the citizens and workers of Greater Manchester.

“This new protocol recognises that the role of employees is vital in delivering quality public services and that there is a need for high-quality employment in the Greater Manchester economy.    

“The devolution agenda is taking place in a context of chronic underfunding of public services.  Staff are worried about the future of their jobs and the services they provide, and it is welcome that Greater Manchester’s leaders are committed to doing all they can to avoid worsening pay, pensions and terms and conditions.

“Their commitment to early consultation with staff and the creation of a new Workforce Engagement Board will help ensure that change takes place on a consensual basis where possible.  In reshaping public services and governance in Greater Manchester, it is essential that the workers’ voice is heard.  

“We all want to play our part in creating a Greater Manchester with excellent public services and secure high-quality employment.  This protocol is an important step in working towards that goal.”

Lynn Collins, North West TUC Regional Secretary, said: “Trade union engagement on this is vital and we are glad that our unions have entered into this protocol with Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester has lead the way on devolution and we are glad they have recognised the importance of worker voice in this new way of working. We will be encouraging all other city regions to enter into similar arrangements as and when they announce their devolution deals.”

Tony Lloyd, Interim Mayor for Greater Manchester said: “Trade unions represent the voice of those who will make devolution work for the people of Greater Manchester so it’s common sense to agree this protocol today. If we are to truly make devolution work for the citizens of Greater Manchester we need to involve them in local decisions and let them help shape the destiny of our city region. This agreement exemplifies my personal commitment and that of the ten Local Authority leaders to do just that, whether that’s through safeguarding and creating jobs, developing the skills of our workforce or transforming the delivery of public services.”

The full agreement can be viewed in the below attachment


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