It was noteworthy to see the article below, published in The Guardian:
The ex head of the Civil Service states, in an interview with the GUARDIAN newspaper, that he has serious reservations about sections of the Bill. His first is the threshold for Industrial Action. We in the RCTU believe this is a measure of last resort where there is a clear and unambiguous case for such action and ONLY where there is a clear case that it can succeed. We do not ever rule it out but our own rules are clear so it is a choice, where the arguments can be made truthfully, that only a majority of members (in our case at least 50% of eligible members must have voted) can authorise such action. It will not, in the RCTU, and should not be a “plaything for activists”. We do however questions the next “test” of 40% of total membership voting in the affirmative. It is a volume of voting that Governments, Local Councils and Police Commissioners would envy!
His second point is the prohibition of using electronic means of voting in such ballots. It is more secure, when the correct and proper procedures are in place, than postal ballots and much much more secure than the preferred (by the extremists) “workplace ballot”. We have however, it should be noted, NO intention of creating a Political Fund.
Thirdly is the continued attack on time allowed for TU officers to represent their members and the ability of the government of the day to stop payroll deductions? The issue of payroll deductions has already seen the changes we have made to a system of direct debit but it is certainly incorrect to give such power directly to the state over the employer regardless of their views. The issue of facility time (the time allowed to represent members) has been attacked viciously in HMRC. With a clear system of recording there is no need to inhibit the time and actions of a responsible Trade Union. There is empirical evidence that TU activity and representation aids a modern business.
Lastly the enhanced role of the Certification officer causes him serious concern with the additional costs that will occur for Trade Unions.
We finish with a direct quote from his interview with the Guardian newspaper.
“For all my frustrations with trade unions, I recognise that they had a legitimate role to defend their members, individually and collectively. Indeed it is arguable that given the scale change their members have faced, including real-terms pay reductions, the trade unions have acted with considerable restraint.”
Enough said really.