The government keeps saying that any change to a seven-day NHS should be 'cost neutral'. But if Jeremy Hunt wants more services to run over seven days, with more staff working unsocial hours, the only way this can happen is to cut unsocial hours payments for existing staff. Junior doctors clearly don't feel terribly 'neutral' about this, nor I suspect will other NHS staff.
Their ultimate goal is striking a balance of cohesion between the aims of the employer and the needs of the worker. This Bill does little but smash the scales of fairness to pieces. The question will be, after the implementation of the Trade Union Bill, how can we even begin to put them back together again?
The Government says that the Trade Union Bill will protect essential public services. But all the evidence shows that happy, fairly treated employees produce the best work - and not just in our vital public services. This Bill will sadly make this harder and harder to achieve.
The Trade Union Bill is not the only piece of draft legislation currently attacking unions. Largely unnoticed the Enterprise Bill is shuffling through Parliament. Mostly uncontentious save one clause that should cause alarm to any public sector worker facing redundancy in the next few years.
They often call our Parliament the Mother of all Parliaments. Our democracy is said to be the oldest in the world. We pride ourselves on our sense of 'fair play'. But that democracy is under unprecedented attack as this Government fixes the system to help keep the Tories in Government for a generation.
London is on the verge of embracing a potentially life-saving scheme that would see trained firefighters responding to emergencies such as heart attacks, alongside the London Ambulance Service (LAS). However, the final push for a pilot, which if successful could see the idea rolled out across the capital, has been blocked by union bosses drawing red lines in the 11th hour of negotiations.
I agree that greater democracy is a good thing, not just for unions, but in general. However, I fail to see how introducing a minimum threshold whilst enforcing 20th century postal balloting methods in a 21st Century society is going to bring about that ideal... It is a matter of fairness and progress - if politics and business can benefit from technology and vote online, shouldn't unions be able to?
Thousands of people gathered in Westminster on Monday to fight against the Conservatives' Trade Union Bill. Many individuals appropriately joined the ...
On November 4th, Swansea University Students Union will be travelling to London amongst several other students union across the country to voice our o...
The Government is pushing a Trade Union Bill through parliament. It's a really nasty piece of legislation that has two aims - to give free reign to employers by rendering strike action ineffective, and to stifle political opposition by slashing trade union political funds.
Five months in, we already have a very clear picture of life under a Tory government. It is a gruesome image, but one that we do not have to accept. We can defeat these grossly unfair cuts to tax credits and in so doing expose the fact that austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity.
Committee stage continues this week where I will be going through the legislation, line by line, with colleagues to pick apart the provisions in the bill. Like last week, I'm sure there will be times when I'm left feeling frustrated but one thing is certain - I, along with my Labour Party colleagues, will continue to stand strong in opposition to this bill.
On Wednesday, David Cameron told the House of Commons that he and I agreed. No, prime minister, we most certainly do not. For the avoidance of doubt, let me spell it out. The thresholds for industrial action being brought forward by the Conservatives in their trade union bill are not acceptable. They erect a double hurdle for millions of workers, in the main low paid and female, to clear before they can take lawful action to defend themselves and they will trip unions into law-breaking as they endeavour to uphold the fundamental freedom of all workers, the right to withdraw their labour.
So today we're focusing on the Royal Mail - what should be the People's Post. But let's also talk about the people's NHS, the people's schools, and yes, even the people's prisons - run with proper accountability, proper pay and conditions for staff, and the quality of services that we need - and could afford to pay for, if we weren't shovelling public money into private hands through privatisation, and allowing multinational corporations and rich individuals to skip their obligations to pay their fair share of taxes.
Fairtrade campaigners in London © Matt Alexander I had just read ...
Speaking after the election, David Cameron told the nation that his government would be on the side of those 'who work hard.' But six months on a very different story is emerging. And it is the incomes of hard-working families that are to be hit once again. Next April, three million low to middle income households face a savage cut to their incomes - the equivalent in some cases of more than 10% of their take home pay. A contract cleaner recently burst into tears when she realised what the changes meant for her family, and I am sadly not short of other heartbreaking stories.