Salford City Council regularly utilise the skills, knowledge and commitment of Trade Union Reps, under the new proposed arrangements this will be severely reduced says GMB.
GMB, the union for council workers, along with Unison and Unite are today calling upon Salford’s Labour Councillors, MPs and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to intervene to stop what they see as an attack on trade unions by Salford City Council.
The three unions, who between them have thousands of members working for the Council have been told that from April 4th the time they are able to dedicate to supporting their members will be cut and that they will no longer be able to use time dedicated by the Council to support workers employed across the city.
This is all happening only weeks after Labour Councillors declared their support for trade unions against the Government’s intention to cut union facilities through the controversial Trade Union Bill.
The three unions are asking their members to join them at 5pm on Thursday 17th March at Swinton British Legion – the same day Corbyn is due in Salford - to decide where to go next, if local politicians cannot resolve the issue by then.
Karen Lewis, GMB regional organiser, said “The council refers to a need for a separation of political and employment matters; unfortunately, in the current climate it is almost impossible to separate the two issues. The Council regularly utilise the skills knowledge and commitment of Trade Union Reps on a daily basis, which is not only cost affective but time saving as well, under the new proposed arrangements this will be severely reduced.”
Steve North, Unison branch secretary, said “Our trade unions provide support for some of the lowest paid and most vulnerable workers in Salford. Our officers give up a lot of their own time to promote decent wages and fair working practices. Despite its stated commitment to extending good standards for workers, the City Council wants to end its support for the people who are delivering on things like The Living Wage and an end to zero contracts. We are calling on all Labour politicians to intervene to stop this madness.”
Scott Henderson of Unite, said: "In these times when the TU's are being called upon to spend more time representing our members and attending strategic meetings I feel that a reduction in facilities time is unacceptable.
With the trade union bill seeking to undermine trade unions; the signatory trade unions would have hoped for an agreement which continued to recognise the importance of work which local representatives continue to do on behalf of our members and their Employees.
By cutting the facility time; reducing the hours; the needs of its members in representation including those who have been tupe'd to other areas of the city will be seriously affected.”
The meeting with union members will take place at Swinton British Legion, Cheetham Road, Swinton, Manchester, M27 4UQ.
Contact: Karen Lewis on 07969 356850 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691