Issue date
16 Jan 2017

Date: Monday 16th January 2017

Welsh Government Bill to put ‘partnership into practice’, says Wales TUC 

Responding to the publication of the Welsh Government’s Bill designed to challenge the UK Trade Union Act, Wales TUC General Secretary Martin Mansfield said:

“This hugely welcome and important Bill is about protecting the ability of unions, employers and the Welsh government to work in partnership in devolved Welsh public services.  

“The Welsh government is today putting partnership into practice.  The First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary promised to stand by Welsh public sector workers and they have delivered.

“The ‘Welsh way’ works in preventing industrial action.  Our social partnership is all about delivering better services for our communities and dealing with disagreements before they become disputes. Without this Bill the UK Trade Union Act would turn back the clock on devolution and threaten to undermine our existing social partnership. 

“We have a progressive majority in Wales with Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats all supporting partnership instead of the UK approach.

“The Westminster government must respect the democratic will of the people of Wales rather than attempting to interfere in services they were not elected to run.”

Notes:

  • The Wales TUC is urging Assembly Members to support the Welsh government’s Trade Union (Wales) Bill which will repeal the UK Government’s controversial Trade Union Act 2016 as it applies to public services devolved to Wales. Wales TUC vehemently opposed the UK Trade Union Act which restricts time for union reps to do their jobs, raises strike ballot thresholds and interferes with the system used to collect membership fees known as ‘check off’.
  • Welsh public sector employers, including local government and the NHS, represented at the Workforce Partnership Council also spoke out against the UK law, citing concerns over the risk it posed to positive industrial relations in Wales.
  • In February 2016, AMs voted down the UK Bill’s Legislative Consent Motion as Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats all backed the Wales TUC campaign to protect the Welsh model of social partnership.
  • Following the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections, the Welsh Government committed to the legislation which unions describe as an urgent priority to preserve positive relations and workplace democracy in Welsh public services. 

Wales TUC media contacts:

Alex Bevan  T: 02920 347010  M: 07795844728  E: [email protected]

Gareth Hathway  T: 02920 347 013  M: 07833468487  E: [email protected]