Date: 30 Nov 2007
Scottish public service union to call for coalition around more
UNISON, Scotland's public service union, will today (Saturday)
agree a call for extended powers for the Scottish Parliament, including
an extension of its fiscal powers.
The union's Scottish Council, comprising delegates from Branches
across Scotland and meeting in Glasgow today (Saturday), will discuss
the issue of extending powers, as a response to the Scottish Government's
'national conversation' Choosing Scotland's Future.
UNISON will also call for other organisations that want to extend
powers to come together and build a campaign for this change.
Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Convenor, said "UNISON has felt
for some time that the Scottish Parliament needs to have further
devolution from Westminster, including an increase in financial
powers. With the increase in the level of debate on this issue,
we think that now is the time to begin to build a broad consensus
of people and groups across Scottish society with similar aims."
Amongst those reserved issues UNISON wants to see decided in Edinburgh,
are equal opportunities, energy, and broadcasting, and the union
also feels that there is potential for some further devolution on
immigration, and public sector pensions, in addition to extended
powers over public borrowing and tax-raising.
Mike Kirby said "Devolution means that we should look at the powers
of Holyrood from time-to-time. After two full terms of the Scottish
Parliament, this seems like a good opportunity to do so, and we
will be discussing with our branches and members what they consider
could usefully be decided both in Edinburgh and more locally."
Other areas of policy that will be discussed by the union will
be, Council Housing, Public service reform (including a response
to Edinburgh City Council's announcement of up to 1,000 job cuts.)
and the forthcoming 60th Anniversary of the NHS next year.
Note for Editors:-
1)UNISON is Scotland's largest public service union, representing
well over 160,000 workers working in Scotland's public services.
It has long been a strong supporter of devolution and opposed to
breaking up the UK. The union's Devolution - the next stage is available
on the UNISON website on http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/policies/devolution.html
2) The meeting of Scottish Branches takes place tomorrow between
10.30am and 1.00pm in the Refectory, Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow
For Further Information Please Contact: Mike Kirby (Scottish
Convenor) 07803 952 261(m) Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771
548 997 (m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Policy) 07958 122
409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)