Review of the Devolution Protocol

Back to all Motions

Conference
2019 National Delegate Conference
Date
5 February 2019
Decision
Carried

Post Brexit political scene merely heightens the constitutional debate in a “disunited kingdom” of growing civic nationalism and regionalisation, the unsettled will for political change, the growing plurality of politics, which will have further implications for government and governance.

In turn, these are issues of plurality and diversification for the trade union to address in policy, organisation and resourcing.

The more diverse models of procurement and contracting, leading to more private/not for profit/community employers to organise and service, to redefine local and sectoral bargaining.

The Scottish Parliament and other devolved administrations have enhanced powers since UNISON Conference 2004 approved the Devolution Protocol.

The Scotland Act 2016 has provided additional enhanced powers to the Scottish Parliament in areas of elections to the Parliament and local councils, taxation and welfare and social security, borrowing for capital investment, and devolved bargaining in the public services. All impacting upon UNISON Scotland’s engagement with Scottish Government, Parliament and its institutions.

The Scottish Government Fair Work Agenda and the previous trade union submissions to the Smith Commission, have raised the prospect of Devolved Employment Rights.

The bargaining and campaign environment is likely to get more complex in future, with greater devolution to nations and regions.

The more diverse models of procurement and contracting, leading to more private/not for profit/community employers to organise and service, to redefine local and sectoral bargaining, more regulation and practice work, not just for legal services.

Trade union learning, including Scottish Government support for Scottish Union Learning, is how we empower people through insight and confidence. It is also how we align values and build skills for change. Time off to attend formal trade union learning is increasingly difficult and creates a further challenge. We need to ensure our learning remains relevant to the aims of the union, aids the development of a culture to take us forward and is accessible.

Conference therefore calls on the National Executive Council to initiate a review of the Devolution Protocol (Rule D 2.11.5).