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Partnership Agreements

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Solicitor-General whether she plans to conclude a partnership agreement with the trade unions representing the staff in her Department. [117452]

Crown Prosecution Service

Crown Prosecution Service staff are represented by two trade unions: the Association of First Division civil servants (FDA) and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). The Crown Prosecution Service signed a partnership agreement with the FDA on 26 March 1999. However, there is no such agreement with the PCS.

Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office is a small Department. It currently has no plans to conclude a formal partnership agreement with staff trade unions although it continues to work with those trade unions in the spirit set out in the Cabinet Office/CCSU partnership agreement, combining both the formal and informal approach appropriate to the size of organisation.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

There is no partnership agreement as such. However, HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate attaches great importance to ensuring effective consultation and involvement of staff and encourages staff to join an appropriate trade union and to play an active part within it, although it is of course, a personal decision whether or not to join a trade union.

Following the move to independent status at the end of 2000 HM Crown Prosecution Service Directorate, following discussion with the relevant trade union formed a Whitley Council. The inaugural meeting was held on 1 May 2001 with the constitution being formally signed by the Management and Departmental Trade Union Side on 18 June 2001. Meetings are productive for both sides and are held quarterly.

Treasury Solicitor's Department

The Treasury Solicitor's Department is presently holding discussions with trade unions with a view to introducing a partnership agreement in the Department.

Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers

The Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers is a Department of only some 35 staff, virtually all of whom are on secondment from other Government Departments. Individual members of staff benefit from whatever arrangements with the trade unions that have been entered into by their parent Department.