UNISON Cymru Wales will hold a rally today (Monday 7 March) outside Conwy County Borough Council in support of the efforts of local Labour councillor Mike Priestley to oppose both the UK government’s Trade Union Bill and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
UNISON members will congregate at the Conwy headquarters, Bodlondeb, at 9.30am for a loud and colourful demonstration as councillors arrive for business to debate the two motions Councillor Priestley will introduce.
The motion against the Trade Union Bill states that the legislation is both an attack on democracy and current good industrial relations at Conwy Council.
It recognises the positive contribution trades unions and employees make towards the delivery of quality public services in Conwy and that the UK government should not be allowed to dictate how the council engages with unions.
Donna Hutton, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser, said:
“UNISON commends the efforts of Labour’s Mike Priestley in introducing these motions for debate.
“We hope Conwy will join Flintshire, Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Cardiff Councils, other local authorities and the Welsh Government in telling UK ministers that there is no appetite for this Bill because it rips up good employment relations that currently exist.
“No public sector employer has welcomed the Trade Union Bill. The Tories are out to attack the civil rights of working people.
“UNISON will continue to lobby elected representatives with a clear message: let’s work together for a better future and drop the Trade Union Bill.”
Peter McGlory, UNISON Cymru Wales local organiser, said:
“The Trade Union Bill is so destructive and unnecessary. It will curb democratic rights and suppress our civil liberties.
“I’m really proud that Conway Council will debate motions on the Bill and on TTIP. UNISON members will be holding a rally at the council to offer our support. The Trade Union Bill is a rotten piece of legislation that would silence the voice of ordinary working people in the political system.”
Conwy County Borough Council stands to lose around £10,000 per annum if the Trade Union Bill becomes law.
The Bill includes a requirement for the public sector to stop ‘deduction of contributions at source’ (DOCAS) – a simple way union members pay their subs. However, Conwy is paid nearly £10,000 for this service by the trade unions.
Notes for editors
Councillor Priestley’s second motion against TTIP, states that TTIP could have a detrimental impact on local services, employment, suppliers and democratic decision-making.
The text of Mike Priestley’s motion against the Trade Union Bill is as follows:
Trade Union Bill
That this Council recognises the positive contribution that trade unions and our employees who are members of trade unions make in Conwy.
This Council values the constructive relationship that we have with our trade unions we recognise their commitment, and the commitment of all our staff, to the delivery of good quality public services.
This Council notes with concern the Trade Union Bill which is currently being proposed by the UK Government and which would affect this Council’s relationship with our trade unions and our workforce as a whole. This Council rejects this Bill’s attack on local democracy and the attack on our rights as a Council to manage our own affairs.
This Council is clear that facility time, negotiated and agreed by us and our trade unions to suit our own specific needs, has a valuable role to play in the creation of good quality and responsive local services. Facility time should not be determined or controlled by Government in London.
This Council is happy with the arrangements we currently have in place for deducting trade union membership subscriptions through our payroll. We see this as an important part of our positive industrial relations and a cheap and easy to administer system that supports our staff. This system is an administrative matter for the Council and should not be interfered with an micro managed by the UK Government.
This Council resolves to support the campaign against the unnecessary, anti-democratic and bureaucratic Trade Union Bill.
This Council further resolves to seek to continue its own locally agreed industrial relations strategy and will take every measure possible to maintain its autonomy with regard to facility time and the continuing use of check-off.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97