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Local Govenment Service Group Conference Bournemouth June 2012

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Strengthening the devolution protocol

Scott Donohoe
Scott Donohoe

Scotland and Cymru Wales joined forces to put devolution issues on the Conference agenda as delegates supported plans to deal with the separate bargaining arrangements in the devolved nations and to develop the constitutional debate.

Delegates supported their call for suitable and sufficient resources, devolution proofed materials and briefings and a review of the democratic arrangements within the Local Government Service Group.

An amendment from the Service Group Executive made clear that these steps will be taken within the framework of UNISON as a UK union.

Moving the Devolution and Bargaining composite, Scotland Regional Delegate Scott Donohoe, pointed to the significant change in Scotland’s political landscape following the elections in 2011 and the proposals for a referendum on independence, which “presents challenges and opportunities for our trade union.”

He also reminded delegates of the separate bargaining structures in Scotland in local government, further education and in many voluntary organisations.

He warned that the devolved bargaining arrangements can be a source of tension and confusion within the trade union, citing the 2011 pensions dispute, where in Scotland, after serious and sustained campaigning, the Scottish Government decided not to implement the UK proposals.

“However, confusion arose due to the question of whether Scotland were going to be balloted in the dispute,” said Scott, adding that after a meeting and decision by the Scottish Local Government Committee Scottish members were balloted.

“We believe this type of situation needs to be avoided,” Scott added and called for improved communication and moves to strengthen UNISON’s devolution protocol.







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Local Government Conference 2012
Bournemouth International Centre