UNISON is urging all activists and members to get involved in its campaign to get the government to drop the Trade Union Bill and protect facility time – the time UNISON volunteers use to do their union-related work.
All UNISON activists know the valuable role trade union reps play in public services.
Our unpaid stewards enable meaningful consultation and negotiation to take place, improve workplace relations and employers’ reputations, make early interventions to prevent grievances escalating into more serious problems and save jobs during restructuring and redundancy processes.
Facility time pays dividends for both employers and staff.
The Trade Union Bill includes new powers requiring all public sector employers to publish information on the amount of money used for trade union facilities, including paid time off for local representatives.
It also gives the government the power to introduce a cap on the amount of money public authorities can spend on facility time.
The cap could also apply to different trade union duties and activities, such as health and safety, workplace learning and representing members.
UNISON believes this attack will damage workplace productivity, employee wellbeing and constructive relationships in the workplace.
It will shift the balance of power away from all employees, whether in a union or not, and reduce the ability of working people to have a voice in the workplace.
Trade union activity provides staff with a way to voice their experiences and mechanisms for resolving grievances and disputes whether informally or through collective bargaining.