British Veterinary Union in Unite and Valley Vets in Wales sign recognition agreement 

Unite, the UK’s leading union, has signed the first ever recognition agreement in the UK with a private veterinary practice. 

The agreement between the British Veterinary Union (BVU) in Unite and Valley Vets, which has sites in Caerphilly, Ystrad Mynach and Pentyrch, plus two in Cardiff, covers around 120 workers.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an historic achievement for the veterinary sector, as the first-ever union recognition agreement in a private veterinary company in the UK. The union recognition is also a huge achievement for the Unite team at Valley Vets. The hard miles of union organisation have delivered. What we need is more similar agreements across the entire sector.”  

The agreement provides workers with collective bargaining rights over issues such as pay and changes to terms and conditions. Workers are also entitled to union representation over individual matters.  

The BVU represents all workers within the veterinary industry – from clinical staff such as veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and animal care assistants to non-clinical staff, such as receptionists and practice managers. It also supports university students of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing.  

BVU chair Suzanna Hudson-Cooke said: “This agreement, providing Valley Vets workers with the means to organise and then improve their jobs, pay and conditions, will serve as an inspiration to others in the veterinary industry who wish to do the same.”

Valley Vets workplace representative Greg Dixon said: “The many members at Valley Vets have waited patiently for this milestone to be reached. They are grateful to the negotiating team at Unite for its efforts and are looking forward to working together with their employer to carve out a brilliant future."


For media enquires ONLY contact senior Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215 or 020 3371 2065.

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.