Trade Union Bill

Written Evidence submitted by Cllr Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council (TUB 47)

I am writing to express my deep concerns about the proposals contained in the Trade Union Bill, currently being considered at Committee Stage in the House of Commons.

This Council recognises the positive contribution that trade unions and trade union members make in our workplace. We value their commitment to the delivery of good quality public services in Croydon, especially in these challenging economic times for local authorities.

In its current form, the Trade Union Bill is nothing short of an attack on basic freedoms that has no place in modern Britain. It is an attack on this Council’s right to manage its own affairs and would undermine our relationship with our workforce as a whole.

This Council is happy with the check-off arrangements we currently have in place for deducting trade union membership subscriptions through our payroll. Check-off is cheap, easy to administer, and an important part of the support that we provide to staff. It should not be interfered with by central Government.

We also value the role that facility time plays in creating good quality local services that are responsive to people’s needs. As a Council, we negotiate and agree facility time in partnership with our trade unions to suit our specific requirements, and it would be totally inappropriate for this to be controlled by Whitehall.

Through this Bill, the Government is attacking working people. This Administration resolves to support the campaign against this anti-democratic set of proposals and will, as far as possible, seek to continue its own locally agreed industrial relations strategy in the face of this dangerous Bill.

Prepared 28th October 2015