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

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A right wing 3 way dance on union facility time

Today’s Sunday Telegraph offers the latest instalment of the sustained attack on the statutory right of union representatives to paid time off for trade union duties - waged by the reactionary triumvirate of the Tories, the Tax Dodgers Alliance and the Telegraph Group of newspapers over the past two years:

First exposed by UNISONActive back in October 2009, the modus operandi of these self styled protectors of the public purse is to abuse the freedom of Information legislation by making costly demands on the resources of councils and other public employers in order to harvest information on time off agreements.

The TUC Stronger Unions blog has produced an excellent rebuttal of the fallacious arguments used by Tories and their right wing mouthpieces:

The case for basic trade union rights urgently needs to be made in the public domain and today’s comments by Dave Prentis in the Telegraph article are a good start:

"Attacking trade union facility time is just plain daft. Far from costing taxpayers money trade unions save the public purse between £170m and £400m every year by creating a more efficient, motivated workforce, and resolving issues. A government report estimates they also boost productivity by nearly £4 billion a year. Public sector union reps also contribute up to 100,000 hours unpaid hours every week. With huge cuts, sell offs and service reorganisations hitting our public sector, workers and employers need unions more now than ever before."