As you will be aware I attended the STUC congress this year in Dundee as a delegate. I was representing GMB and our members. A number of motions were put forward by other delegates, some of which I would like to bring to your attention along with a few ideas which I think will be beneficial to our branch and the members.
The congress was opened by this year’s STUC president, Harry Frew. He put across in words what I have been trying to find to say to our members.
“Whatever the outcome in September, the STUC will continue to work on behalf of the work force in Scotland” This is what we in GMB@SAS feel, no matter what we will continue to represent our members to the best of our ability. We will continue to make the service a better place for all our members to work in without being intimidated or put under un necessary stress.
One thing that was clear was the benefits on having everyone in one union. This works for the Fire Service and also the Prison Service. One example was the Lothian Buses. They were having nonstop issues with their management. 98% of their work force came over to one union, and they now are one of the best looked after companies and their staff side/management partnership is an example on how the workforce and management should work. They won the STUC Organising Award.
This just shows how a group can get together and work together in becoming strong and working for a better working environment.
There were a number of motions put forward by unions, and to go through everyone would be pointless. But the following ones I felt might be of interest to you and may have a connection to ongoing issues we have within the service.
It was felt that partnership sometimes does not work and Collective Bargaining should be considered. There have been a few comments of late saying that members feel the partnership does not always work. This might need to be looked into as a branch.
Zero and Short Hours Contracts
As we know, the service use alot of bank staff and rumours had it that they were going down this road of zero hours contracts. We along with STUC are strongly opposed to this and will take this forward to the government to ensure that this type of contract is unacceptable.
Companies that continue to treat their staff with unacceptable practises will be blacklisted, and that includes public services.
Public Sector Pay
The 1% pay offer for public sectors was a joke and unreasonable. We as a branch and the STUC are looking into this and what we can do to get the government to relook at this and give us a reasonable and acceptable offer for our staff, who have earned this and deserve this.
We all know what the governments are doing to our pensions and also our state pensions. Once again it is the public sector that gets the brunt of these decisions. This is also a campaigns for us to take forward. No one can tell us what will happen to our pensions if we get independence. This is something we need to address, and soon.
it came to light that the workforce are scared to use this tool to highlight what is happening in the work place due to the feeling that there would be retribution on them. I can assure you that this will not happen and if any manager comes after you for submitting a whistle blowing claim, you will get the full backing of this union and its stewards. So please use it if you feel there is an issue at your workplace you feel needs to be highlighted.
If we are still having issues next year, we should consider submitting some. It could be from placing a rule in place to ensure that what the work load crews will get down time to have their breaks. Or put a motion forward to eradicate on call from this service for once and for all. We will be asking our members nearer the time to see what they would like us to take forward as motions.
For some time now I have had an idea to hold a members conference to allow our members to put across concerns they have to the executive team. And after being at this conference I now feel this is a must. This would be a day event followed by a social evening. We would invite speakers from Government from GMB, and we would also have a Q&A session with our branch officials. We would also invite along some companies to have stands for you to look at. We will also be looking for them to sponsor coaches, one from each division, to bring the members to the venue. We hope to run this event somewhere central, like Perth., around Sep or Nov. This is still in the planning but I would like to get some feedback on this idea. Would you be keen to attend, and if so when would you think be best, or would it be best to hold one in each division?
If you be so kind and let me know.