This case study reviews the joint project between the United Welsh Housing Association (UWHA) and Unison, which aims to introduce flexible working practices and staff involvement in order to improve the service provided to customers and local communities.

UWHA is a non-profit making body based in Caerphilly and Cardiff, who work in 12 local authorities across South East Wales, providing over 3500 homes; 600 of which are for older people and 500 for people with additional support needs. Unison is the only trade union recognised by UWHA, which employs approximately 125 people.

Central to the improvements in UWHA and Unison’s relationship is a new partnership agreement and code of conduct, which are unique in the way they prioritise option-based consultation, rather than negotiation. Training for managers and staff has also played an important part in overcoming a prevailing ‘command and control’ culture and enabled staff to take greater responsibility for organising their own work and engage positively in how new services are developed and delivered.

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