GMB Scotland Call On The Scottish Government And Local Councils To Pledge Not To Implement Trades Union Bill If It Becomes Law
The Scottish Government should tell Scottish Police Service that new rules on picketing plans are not a priority and that resources should not be diverted from fighting crimes to implementing them says GMB Scotland.
GMB Scotland welcomed the statement by COSLA on the Trades Union Bill and called on the Scottish Government and Scottish local councils to go further to pledge not to implement the Bill if it becomes. See notes to editors for copy of COSLA statement.
Gary Smith, Acting Secretary GMB Scotland at the Labour Party Conference, said "GMB Scotland welcome this COSLA statement.
GMB Scotland call on the Scottish Government and Scottish local councils to go further to pledge not to implement the Trades Union Bill if it becomes law.
Under the Bill unions will be have to publish picketing and protest plans 14 days in advance of any industrial action. The plans will have to include whether the union is planning a picket, if so where and how many people it will on it and what loud speaker, props and banners they will have and whether the union will be using social media and what those blogs and websites will say. The plan will then be provided to the employer, the police and the Certification Officer – and failure to do so could result in a fine.
The police asking for details of who will be on picket lines and what they will say and what will be on social media in disputes is an extension of the RIPA rules on surveillance.
The Scottish Government argues for an open and inclusive Scotland. These rules are in contravention of our fundamental freedoms of speech, of assembly and of association
The Scottish Government should make clear to the Scottish Police Service that policing the new rules on picketing plans in trade disputes is not a priority and that resources should not be diverted from fighting crimes to implementing these new rules.
Scotland has a long history of dissent against unjust laws and attacks on fundamental freedoms. The Trades Union Bill is this generation’s poll tax moment.”
Contact: Gary Smith on 07710 618909 or 0141 332 8641 or Richard Leonard 07703 465447 or GMB press office 07921 289880
Notes to editors:
Statement by COSLA on Monday 28th September
“Scottish Local Authorities and Trade Unions have a shared and long established commitment to joint or partnership working. Our partnership extends beyond industrial relations to bring joint solutions to the design, delivery and transformation of public services.
We are concerned that there is no evidential base for the changes suggested in the Bill. Stable industrial relations in Scottish Local Government are underpinned by modest facility time agreements with trade union duties and binding agreements for deducting trade union contributions. The cost of these arrangements is modest, trade unions make direct contributions to those costs, and the dividend that accrues to services and service users represents significant value for money.
As devolved public bodies, we consider ourselves empowered to engage in these arrangements and it is therefore our intention to honour and protect existing industrial relations arrangements in local government.
We would therefore urge the UK Government to reconsider this unjustified and unnecessary restriction on the devolved competency of Scottish local government which could lead to destabilised local government industrial relations.”