Minister for employment relations, Gerry Sutcliffe, praised the print industry and its unions as he unveiled the sector’s ‘Partnership at Work’ agreement on working conditions.
The official launch follows a successful ballot of Amicus members employed in the commercial printing industry and working under the Amicus/British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) national agreement, who voted to accept the new agreement.
The DTI-funded agreement is a UK industry first which now sets a benchmark for other industry sectors, said Sutcliffe.
“This agreement demonstrates that everyone from the ground floor up has an interest in making their organisation succeed. I’d like to congratulate the BPIF and Amicus for their success in securing this agreement.”
Amicus assistant general secretary Tony Burke added: “The new, modernised agreement takes into account the technical and economic changes that have occurred in recent years as well as reflecting the many social changes.
“This new agreement also looks to the future with clauses on social issues such as sick pay, the regulation of agency and temporary workers, information and consultation, and flexible working patterns.”
The agreement also includes provisions covering issues such as learning and skills, working time, privacy at work, voluntary recognition procedures, partnerships in the workplace and trade union facilities.
In addition, there will be an improved national sick pay scheme, guidelines on the use of agency and temporary workers and a model agreement on the Information and Consultation Directive.