UNISON celebrates after Merthyr Council scraps restrictions on union help

UNISON is celebrating today (Thursday) after Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council reversed its decision to reduce the ability of staff to get support from their unions. 

The union, which represents hundreds of staff at the local authority, has been campaigning against a decision to cut employees’ access to their union representatives.

It would have meant council workers would only have been able to access union support for just two days a week. 

UNISON held a protest outside the Civic Centre in Merthyr yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a full council meeting.

Following an amendment by the council’s Labour group, councillors voted to allow staff five days access to their union reps every week until 31 March 2024.

UNISON Cymru/Wales regional organiser Carmen Bezzina said: “This is great news for council workers across the authority. 

“Councillors have clearly listened to the concerns of unions and the workers they represent. 

“Council employees provide such a valuable service and must be able to access union support whenever a problem arises.”

UNISON Cymru/Wales Cwm Taf local government branch secretary Peter Crews said: “Council staff and their unions are grateful for the support of the Labour group and its amendment that helped overturn the decision.

“It was vital councillors stood up to defend the rights of staff who play such a key role in the local community.

“Thankfully problems at work only happen rarely, but when they do it is vital people know they can rely on the support of their union rep.”