Issue date
19 Jul 2017

The Wales TUC has today (Tuesday 18th July 2017) welcomed the passing of a major new law designed to protect and promote partnership working within the Welsh public sector.

Commenting on today’s Senedd vote on the Trade Union (Wales) Bill, Wales TUC General Secretary Martin Mansfield said:

“The Welsh Government promised that they would protect our devolved services from the Westminster government’s anti-union attack and today they delivered on that promise.

“The Wales TUC warmly welcomes the new Act and the strong support shown by the Assembly for our social partnership approach in Wales.

“Our government is committed to working in partnership with unions and employers to get the very best deal for our Welsh public services and its valued workforce.

“The ‘Welsh Way’ works in avoiding industrial action. Our partnership approach is all about engaging with employers and government at an early stage, allowing us to deal with disagreements before they become disputes through mature negotiation and honest debate.

“Thanks to the support of Welsh Government and progressive political parties in the Senedd, this approach can continue to deliver for both the people of Wales and for the services we all rely on.”

Commenting on previous threats from UK Government ministers that the UK Government would seek to legislate against the Trade Union (Wales) Bill in the future, Martin Mansfield added:

“The UK Government must now fully respect the democratic will of the people of Wales and the decision made by our National Assembly to pass this Bill. Any underhanded attempts to interfere in how our devolved public services are run in Wales would be undemocratic and unconstitutional.”

 

ENDS

Notes to Editor: 

                              

-        The Wales TUC represents 50 trade unions with a combined membership of over 400,000 Welsh workers.

-        The Trade Union (Wales) Bill was introduced in the National Assembly for Wales on Monday 16th January 2017 by the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government. A copy of the Bill, as amended at Stage 2, can be found here.

-        The Trade Union (Wales) Bill seeks to disapply certain sections of the UK Government’s Trade Union Act 2016 in relation to “devolved public services”. This includes disapplying provisions relating to the deduction of trade union subscriptions from wages (known as “check-off”); disapplying provisions relating to the restriction and reporting of facility time for trade union reps; and disapplying the provision requiring a 40% ballot threshold for industrial action.

-        At Stage 2, the Welsh Government successfully tabled an amendment to the Trade Union (Wales) Bill to maintain the current regulations in place prohibiting the use of temporary and agency workers to cover industrial action.

-        The Trade Union (Wales) Bill has received support from a variety of Welsh public sector employers, including local government (WLGA) and the NHS (Welsh NHS Confed). This was reflected in the Stage 1 Report produced by the Assembly’s Equality, Local Government & Communities Committee.

-        High-level, legal opinion commissioned by the Wales TUC from respected Welsh barrister Hefin Rees QC established that the UK Government’s intention to force their Trade Union Act 2016 upon devolved public services in Wales was ‘deeply flawed’ and ‘unconstitutional’. This opinion is available to read in full here.

-        In January 2016, cross-party AMs from Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats voted down a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) to approve the use of the UK Government’s Trade Union Act 2016 in Wales.

Wales TUC Press & Media Contact:

Steve Cushen              T: 02920 787019         M: 07850 226192        E: [email protected]