Weds 27 April 2005
Scottish Enterprise rejects conciliation in pay dispute
UNISON, Scotland's public service union, today condemned chiefs
at enterprise agency Scottish Enterprise for refusing to meet the
conciliation service ACAS.
The union proposed the referral in an attempt to break the deadlock
in the current industrial action between the agency and 1100 UNISON
members. Scottish Enterprise have rejected this and instead offered
to use a private mediation company.
UNISON Regional Organiser, Matt McLaughlin said, "It's incredible
that this public organisation is being allowed to operate as if
they are some private company with no public control. Scottish Enterprise
is a public body, funded by public money and under the political
direction of Jim Wallace but it seems that they are allowed to do
what they like, and waste public money.
"ACAS is the correct body for this matter to be referred to. ACAS
have the skills, experience and are there to arbitrate and conciliate
between workers and their employers. They are set up by government,
are transparent, arbitrary and have the confidence of the public
and our membership.
"Scottish Enterprise would apparently rather spend public money
meeting some private company who have no track record, are not known
to UNISON and do not have the confidence of either the union or
for that matter the government."
UNISON members have been taking part in industrial action for 5
weeks after Scottish Enterprise chiefs implemented a performance
related pay system, which the union believes could discriminate
against women. This was implemented with no agreement with the union.
Attempts to engage Enterprise Minister, Jim Wallace MSP to help
resolve the dispute have been rejected. The industrial action means
staff are refusing to participate in the organisation's performance
management scheme and refusing to record data which assists in the
performance management of Careers Scotland.
[Notes to the Editor - Careers Scotland became part of Scottish
Enterprise in April 2002 bringing together 67 separate careers bodies