Local MSP Jackie Baillie accused SNP councillors in West Dunbartonshire Council of trying to ‘out-Tory the Tories’ in a Scottish Parliament debate this week about fair work.
The SNP Government faced charges of hypocrisy after it called a debate praising the ‘vital role of trade unions in the workforce’ just weeks after SNP-led West Dunbartonshire Council launched an attack on trade union rights by cutting facility time.
The Budget passed by SNP and Tory councillors sparked a backlash from staff and trade unions after West Dunbartonshire Council approved plans to reduce facility time by 1.4 FTE posts, making it more difficult for conveners to represent their members’ interests and undermining the role of trade unions.
The decision was taken on the same day that Nicola Sturgeon was meeting the STUC to discuss a Fair Work Charter but the Scottish Government denied that the First Minister knew about the SNP-led administration’s plans.
The recent Budget also overturns an earlier decision to oppose the Tory Trade Union Act and commit to protecting facility time. The motion was agreed unanimously by West Dunbartonshire Council in October 2015, including by Cllr Jonathan McColl.
“The SNP Government has a cheek to talk about fair work and promote the role of trade unions in the workplace when its own councillors in West Dunbartonshire are joining up with the Tories to vote through anti-trade union measures.
“Before the election Cllr Jonathan McColl stood alongside Labour to oppose the Tory attacks on trade unions but as soon as he gets into power he undermines the rights of council staff to an effective voice in the workplace.
“It’s time for SNP Ministers to have a word with Cllr McColl before he causes them any further embarrassment in the Scottish Parliament