Collective bargaining key to Fair Work

Lilian Macer
Lilian Macer

#stuc17 Sectoral collective bargaining in both public and private sectors is the key to delivering on the Scottish Government’s Fair Work agenda, the STUC Congress was told today.

The composite, including UNISON’s motion, called for the “naming, shaming and prosecuting” of employers who do not meet the legal minimum standards, such as the National Minimum Wage and speaking out against poor employment practice “such as exploitative zero/notional hour contracts.”

It called on the Scottish Government to use all the powers it has to promote collective bargaining at a sectoral level, particularly in areas, such as social care and childcare, where the vast bulk of funding comes from the public purse.

Lilian Macer, UNISON Scotland convener, welcomed the report of the Fair Work Convention and the commitment of the Scottish Government to taking its recommendations forward.

She listed successes in Skills Development Scotland, promoting trade unions as ‘a force for good’ and in Kelvin College where a joint union/ management group is trying to adopt the Fair Work framework.

But she warned that much work needs to be done to make the proposals a reality in people’s employment.

She told delegates: “UNISON Scotland wants to see the Fair Work dimensions mainstreamed in the design, deliver and funding of all public services.”

She focussed on the social care sector where low paid women are often working part time or on a sessional basis with no fixed contractual hours.

“A dedicated and committed workforce doing their best to maintain high levels of quality care in a system that is in crisis”, she said.

“So the Fair Work working group will take a detailed look at the employment practices in this sector to make recommendations that will bring tangible benefits for this predominantly female, low paid and insecure workforce.”

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