Attacks on facility time

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2013 National Delegate Conference
20 February 2013
Carried as Amended

Conference is concerned at this government’s concerted attacks on trade union facility time in the public sector.

The United Kingdom has a proud tradition of progressing industrial relations through a joint approach with trade unions. Public sector employers recognise the worth of allocating facility time as a means of supporting trade union activists to fulfil their roles. This is borne out by a recent report by the National Centre for Social Research which demonstrated that facility time saved organisations money and provided a ready-made structure for meaningful consultation and negotiation.

UNISON women play a vital role in building and representing the union at branch, regional and national level. Women’s involvement helps to break down the barriers to other women becoming active and challenges the stereotype of a traditional trade unionist. However, women activists still spend additional hours of their own time to fulfil their union roles and it is essential that available facility time is shared fairly to enable women to achieve an acceptable work/union/life balance.

Conference also recognises the value of facility time for self organisation, which allows women to participate across our structures at all levels and provides another route to women becoming active in UNISON, the only union with a rule book commitment to self organisation.

Conference calls upon the National Executive Council to:

1)continue to campaign for the right of all our activists to facility time to perform their trade union duties;

2)include the women’s perspective in UNISON’s campaign to defend facility time, particularly highlighting its importance for women activists;

3)highlight to our members the attacks that are being made to facility time in the public sector by the Tory led coalition government.