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Public Service Minister stands-up to Westminster over damaging Trade Union Bill

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews is demanding the UK Government make amendments to its legislation to exclude Welsh public services from the affects of their Trade Union Bill.
Tuesday 19 January 2016

He has again written to Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to warn of the negative affect the Trade Union Bill will have in Wales.

Referring to an earlier letter sent in November, the Minister draws the UK Government’s attention to a Legislative Consent Motion that has been laid in the National Assembly for Wales in respect of the Trade Union Bill. That Motion will be debated on the 26th January.

Sent with the letter is a paper outlining a number of amendments to the Bill, which would exclude the Welsh public sector from the following provisions;

  • introducing an additional 40% overall membership support threshold for industrial action in ‘important public services;
  • enabling reporting requirements and restrictions to be placed on time allowed for trade union activity  in the public sector; and
  • banning ‘check off’ arrangements, where dues are paid directly from people’s salary, in the public sector.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, also challenged the UK Government over the Trade Union Bill.

In September last year, Carwyn Jones wrote to David Cameron,  expressing concerns over the Bill’s impact and stating that this should also be a matter for the National Assembly for Wales:

“It is clear that significant elements of the Bill relate specifically to public services which in Wales are unambiguously devolved responsibilities.

“I therefore do not accept the suggestion that the Bill must be regarded as concerned exclusively with non-devolved issues."

Leighton Andrews said:

“The Bill will damage the social partnership approach to industrial relations within the public sector in Wales. We believe that working constructively with Trade Unions is the best way for public sector bodies to ensure effective delivery of services to the public.

“The Welsh Government’s position is to oppose this Bill. It is clear to us that the Bill is not concerned exclusively with non-devolved matters. It intrudes on the delivery of devolved public services, for which Wales has the right to develop its own approach.”

 

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Improving public services 19 January 2016 Programme for Government - Public Services Public services Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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