Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services
I wrote on 18 January to Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills regarding the Trade Union Bill, highlighting the damage we believe the provisions of the bill will do to the model of social partnership. I attach a copy of that letter.
I accompanied the letter with draft amendments to the bill, which would exclude Welsh public services from the proposals to increase the threshold of membership support for industrial action to 40%, place restrictions on Trade Union facility time and end check-off arrangements where Union subscriptions are paid from salary. I did this as a statement of Welsh Government policy in this area and because there is an ideal opportunity for the minister to table these amendments as the bill enters the Lords Committee Stage.
The UK government has consistently asserted that the bill is concerned exclusively with non-devolved matters. The UK government has failed to engage with the argument that the bill intrudes on the delivery of devolved public service on which Wales has the right to develop its own response. We believe working constructively with trade unions is the best way for public service organisations to ensure effective delivery and this bill would harm that. The National Assembly will have the opportunity to express its own view when it debates the Legislative Consent Motion I have tabled for 26 January.