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

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Maude - Confessions of a union buster

Egged on by the Tory hard right in front organisations such as the Trade Union Reform Campaign (chaired by discredited MP Aidan Burley), the Con Dem government has set about systematically ending trade union activity in the public sector. Civil service unions have borne the brunt of this offensive and Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, writing on the conservative home website, sets out the extent to date of the attacks on union organisation:

‘Now no-one can spend more than half their time at work as a trade union representative without the specific consent of the minister running their departments. Today’s figures show that the number of full time-trade union representatives is now less than a fifth of the level in 2011. Labour left around 200 full-time representatives at public expense in the Civil Service alone (more if you count those in Scotland). Now there are just 37 in central Government and I fully expect that number to continue to drop.’

UNISON branches across health, local government and other public services are experiencing employer and political pressure on facility time but so far not as intense as that being meted out by Maude and his henchmen. To paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller ‘First they came for the Civil Servants.......’