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STUC 2008



Rate for the job for voluntary sector

by Kate Ramsden

Stephen Smellie
Stephen Smellie

Congress resolved to campaign for more stable long term funding for the voluntary sector and called on funding bodies to pay the rate for the job and to ensure that voluntary sector employers provide proper pensions and conditions of service for their staff and can meet their equality obligations.

It recognised that the voluntary sector provides essential services to the Scottish community and that its workers should not be treated as second class citizens.

Stephen Smellie of UNISON Scotland told congress that UK and Scottish Ministers have made statements committing to the expansion of the voluntary sector in providing public services.

He cautioned however, that whilst many voluntary sector organisations provide excellent services, others do not. "But all are posed to the public as cheaper," warned Stephen, "and they can only do it cheaper because they pay poorer wages to staff who have poorer working conditions, sickness benefits and pensions. Local authorities invite voluntary sector providers to outbid each other, forcing down costs and standards."

"As a public service union, we reject totally the proposal to use one set of public sector workers to undermine another," he said. "Therefore UNISON has welcomed the STUC and SCVO joint campaign for fair and longer term funding, to ensure that voluntary sector workers are paid the same as workers in the authority awarding the contract, and that services are properly funded to meet good quality standards."


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