UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

No end to cynical attacks on union facility time‏

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" wrote Oscar Wilde in Lady Windermere’s Fan. The same might be said of the media jackals relentlessly attacking trade union facility time in the public sector. Latest to enter the fray is the Evening Standard with a report on time off arrangements in Transport for London: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23979286-taxpayers-foot-scandalous-bill-for-full-time-tfl-union-activists.do

Compulsory reading for all journalists reporting on this issue should be a UK Government report from 2007 (now archived!):


'The Government recognises the valuable role played by workplace representatives. The review of facilities and facility time assessed whether:

•representatives have sufficient access to facilities and facility time to enable them to carry out their functions efficiently and effectively, bearing in mind the needs and resources of modern workplaces

•there is a need to clarify or simplify the relevant statutory rights governing facilities and facility time

•there is adequate practical guidance provided to help parties apply those entitlements at the workplace

A formal three-month consultation started on 4 January 2007 and ended on 29 March 2007. The response document presents the final findings of the review, including the recommendations below.

The recommendations included:

•the revision of the existing Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to modernise the practical guidance it gives to managers and representatives

•resources permitting, a research project to evaluate the workplace impact of trade union education to be undertaken resources permitting, BIS to develop e-courses for non-union representatives and for the management of representatives by middle managers resources permitting, BIS to create a new portal to allow easy access to the existing Government guidance on workplace representation

•the publication of joint tripartite statements in support of modern union representatives and the benefits they bring'