Nicola Sturgeon announces fund to help unions respond to reforms

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
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Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £250,000 fund aimed at helping trade unions mitigate the impact of new UK legislation.

The Scottish Government said the money will help unions modernise and respond to reforms brought in by the nationwide Trade Union Act.

The legislation, which came into force in May, introduced a threshold for workers voting in strike ballots for action to be legal.

Speaking at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) ministerial bilateral meeting, the First Minister said: “The Scottish Government believes the Trade Union Act, passed by the UK Government, is unnecessary legislation that threatens the capacity of trades unions to deliver the constructive employment relations that underpin a fairer, more inclusive and more successful economy.

“There is clear evidence that unionised workplaces have more engaged staff, have a higher level of staff training and a progressive approach to staff wellbeing.

“That is why we are committed to supporting strong trade unions in Scotland. Our distinct approach, unlike that of the UK Government, is based on partnership working as demonstrated through the establishment of the Fair Work Convention and our endorsement of their Fair Work Framework.

“The fund will ensure that the time of union reps is not needlessly diverted to legislation compliance administration but can remain committed to supporting their members and innovation in the workplace through the Fair Work Framework.”

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: “By assisting in mitigating the impacts of the Trade Union Act and encouraging the best use of reps’ time to positively promote fair work and workplace innovation, the Scottish Government has again demonstrated its commitment to positive industrial relations through workplace democracy.”