Date: Thurs 7 Jan 2010
Quango reorganisation fails to simplify pay negotiations - UNISON
The Scottish Government's Public Services Reform Bill will do
little to reform Scotland's quangos and fails to address the bureaucratic
and tortuous process of pay bargaining, said Scotland's largest
public service union UNISON.
In a briefing to MSPs in advance of today's Stage One debate
in the Scottish Parliament, UNISON calls for an amendment to enable
streamlined pay bargaining arrangements to be introduced covering
the different Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs)
and Public Corporations, who all currently have their own structures.
Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser (Policy) said "Although
this bill's aim is to streamline Scotland's quangos and improve
their efficiency, it has missed the opportunity to streamline
their lengthy and costly bargaining process. A process which has
resulted in many disputes in recent years, undermined staff confidence
and damaged public service."
The union has been campaigning for some time to improve the current
confused state of pay negotiations in this sector, and backed
the recommendations of the Parliament's Finance Committee inquiry
into public sector pay.
Peter Ritchie, Chair of UNISON's NDPB staff sector group said
"Sadly little has been done to implement these recommendations.
We need to address the mess that has been created in this sector's
pay negotiations by the variety of bodies, the range of different
negotiating machinery, and the often unhelpful interference of
the Government Finance Department."
UNISON is suggesting the creation of two negotiating bodies -
one covering Executive Agencies (with staff closely tied to Civil
Service pay and conditions) and one covering NDPBs and possibly
Public Corporations, which employ staff drawn from a variety of
other backgrounds. But the union recognises that the detail of
this is not appropriate for primary legislation and is seeking
an enabling amendment to be introduced at Stage Two.
Note for Editors:- UNISON is Scotland's largest public
service union, representing well over 160,000 workers working
in Scotland's public services.