Councillors urged to oppose controversial bill
Rutherglen and Cambuslang councillors will this week be asked to back a motion opposing the controversial Trade Union Bill.
The motion will be put to a meeting of the full council today (Wednesday).
It has been brought forward by Councillor John Menzies, an SNP member for Hamilton West and Earnock.
The motion reads: “South Lanarkshire Council wishes to recognise formally the positive contribution that trades unions and trade union members make in our workplaces. This council values the constructive relationship we have with our trades unions and recognises their commitment, and the commitment of all our staff, to the delivery of good quality public services.
“SLC 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 trades unions and our workforce as a whole. SLC rejects this Bill’s attack on local democracy and the attack on the Council’s right to manage its own affairs.
“SLC is clear that facility time, negotiated and agreed by the Council and our trades unions to suit our own specific needs, has a valuable role to play in the creation of good quality and responsive local services and should not be determined or controlled by government in London.
“SLC is also happy with the arrangements we currently have in place for deducting trade union membership subscriptions through our payroll. The Council sees this as an important part of positive industrial relations and a system which is easy to administer and supports our staff. This is an administrative matter for the Council and there should not be interference from the UK Government.
“South Lanarkshire Council resolves to support the campaign against the unnecessary, anti-democratic and bureaucratic Trade Union Bill and further resolves to seek to continue its own locally agreed industrial relations strategy by taking every measure possible to maintain its autonomy with regard to facility time and the continuing use of check-off.”
The Bill has previously been criticised by council leader Eddie McAvoy.
He described it as “an attempt to turn back the clock on the progress that has been made over the decades.”
If passed, the Bill could restrict time spent on union activities, ban the mechanism where members can pay for their membership through their salary, and allow employers to call in agency workers when employees go on strike.