SNP calls for cross-party support in bid to protect public sector workers


SNP politicians have called for cross-party backing after taking a stand against the Westminster Government’s decision to undermine public sector trade unions by putting check-off arrangements under review.

Check-off is an arrangement where trade union subscriptions are automatically deducted from public sector salaries, helping unions like the PCS effectively represent its members. Although the PCS previously won a High Court case against Westminster’s Department for Local Government and Communities who had sought to remove the right, this has not prevented the practice being put under review.

In contrast to the situation in the Westminster Government where the practice is under review, the Scottish Government has announced that it will protect the check-off arrangements that have been working effectively for many years.

SNP politicians have lodged motions in Holyrood and Westminster deploring the attack by the Westminster Government on trade union rights and commending the PCS and other public sector unions for their efforts to represent their members’ interests.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said:

“It is abundantly clear that the Westminster Government’s actions are motivated purely by the Tories’ anti-trade union ideology and pay no regard to the needs of public sector employees. It is petty and clearly designed to disrupt the ability of unions to represent public sector workers.

“Check-off arrangements have been working and working well for many years now. They help to ensure that public sector employees are effectively represented through trade unions like the PCS.

“The Scottish Government has announced that it will protect the current arrangements that have served us well for so long, something I warmly welcome.

“But the Westminster Government’s review threatens the employment rights of everyone working for a UK Government department – including many of my constituents. This ridiculous attack on public sector employment rights should be brought to an end.”

SNP MP Stewart Hosie added:

“The Westminster Government has certainly left itself open to ridicule with its small-minded actions, but this is a serious issue that will affect the representation received by public sector employees working for UK Government departments.

“Instead of making such petty attacks on the rights of public sector employees, the Westminster Government should take a leaf out of the Scottish Government’s book and accept that check-off arrangements should remain in place.

“MPs from all parties should accept that the Westminster Government has got it wrong and back my motion.”