£250,000 for trade unions
New Trade Union Modernisation Fund set up.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced £250,000 to support modernisation of trade unions and help mitigate the negative impacts of UK legislation.
The new Trade Union Modernisation Fund will assist unions to mitigate the negative impacts of the Trade Union Act, so that the obligations placed on them through this legislation do not divert trade union reps away from supporting their members and helping employers embrace fairer working practices.
The announcement was made at the STUC Ministerial Bilateral meeting.
The First Minister said:
“The Scottish Government believes the Trade Union Act, passed by the UK Government, is unnecessary legislation that threatens the capacity of trades unions to deliver the constructive employment relations that underpin a fairer, more inclusive and more successful economy.
“There is clear evidence that unionised workplaces have more engaged staff, have a higher level of staff training and a progressive approach to staff wellbeing. That is why we are committed to supporting strong trade unions in Scotland. Our distinct approach, unlike that of the UK Government, is based on partnership working as demonstrated through the establishment of the Fair Work Convention and our endorsement of their Fair Work Framework.
“The fund will ensure that the time of union reps is not needlessly diverted to legislation compliance administration but can remain committed to supporting their members and innovation in the workplace through the Fair Work Framework.”
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“From the inception of the Fair Work Commission to their opposition to the Trade Union Bill, the Scottish Government has made clear that it supports organised unions playing a positive role in delivering Fair Work and engaging the skills of its members in driving economic growth and delivering better public services.
“By assisting in mitigating the impacts of the Trade Union Act and encouraging the best use of reps time to positively promote Fair Work and workplace innovation, the Scottish Government has again demonstrated its commitment to positive industrial relations through workplace democracy.”
Notes to Editors:
The fund will follow the established Scottish Union Learning model with regards to administration and accountability mechanisms. It will be managed by the UMF board comprising the chairs of the STUC's three existing standing committees.
The Board will meet quarterly, include links with Scottish Government, and report at the end of the financial year. Activity will be supported by Development Officers.