Wednesday 8 August
Tory attack on union facility time is nothing more than mischief
making, says UNISON
UNISON has hit back against Tory attacks on trade union facility
time and says it amounts to nothing more than mischief making.
Their attack is also factually inaccurate, as union reps do
not ‘work’ for unions as the Tories falsely claim.
Facility time is time off from an individual’s job, granted
by the employer, to enable a trade union rep to carry out their
trade union role.
Trade union facility time is common practice in both the private
and public sector, endorsed by law and statutory guidance and
widely accepted by employers as a sensible way of facilitating
engagement with workplace representatives.
Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said:
“The Tories attack on trade union reps is nothing more
than mischief making. Union reps are, in fact, a massive boost
to our workplaces. We all know the value of trade union facility
time; study after study has confirmed that trade union representatives
save councils money through their everyday work around sickness
absence, suspensions, training, reductions in tribunal claims
and costly legal action. This adds up to a massive saving for
“Given the huge scale of cuts hitting the public sector,
the role of workplace reps in our public services is more important
than ever before. Attacking union reps – who already give
countless hours of extra work outside of their facility time – doesn’t
make any sense and would only cost the taxpayer more money in
the long run.”
Notes for editors
An independent report by NatCen Social Research for UNISON,
published in June, shows facility time for trade union reps in
the public sector saves the taxpayer money, cuts the number of
strikes and disputes and improves workplace relations.
The report highlighted the following key benefits that facility
time brings to public sector workplaces:
· Creating a ready-made structure for consultation and
negotiation, saving organisations money and giving workers reassurance
that their views will be heard when decisions are made.
· Allowing partnership working with trade unions to improve
workplace relations, helping to create the reputation of an employer
as ‘a good place to work’.
· Earlier intervention in relation to complaints, grievances
and disciplinaries, helping to stop issues escalating, which
saves organisations and ultimately taxpayers’ money.
· Better communication to manage change during restructuring
and redundancy processes; thereby improving understanding of
decisions, minimising negative impacts and reducing the number
of working days lost through industrial action.
The full report is available here: http://bit.ly/MxgxrS
A two-page summary of the findings is available here: http://bit.ly/NDMCbu
For more information
Trisha Hamilton, UNISON Scotland’s Communications
Officer, on 0141 342 2877 or 07939 478 461.