Greens Support Scottish Trade Union Demands

The Scottish Trade Union Congress have issued ten clear demands for the next Scottish Government, echoing our calls for a bolder and more equal nation.

Unions are vital partners in a fair economy. We completely oppose the UK Government’s attacks on trade unionism and will campaign for employment, health and safety, equality and trade union law to be devolved. Scottish Greens will continue to support trade union campaigns to deliver jobs with decent pay and conditions. We want to see unions play a bigger role in planning for Scotland’s economic future and we will promote direct employee involvement in all levels of work, such as management, business development and innovation.

Our manifesto proposals directly address the 10 demands of the STUC.

1. A Strategy For Reducing Inequality

The Scottish Greens have proposed a progressive tax plan that introduces new rates and bands, including a new tax band of 60p on earnings over £150,000.  Under our proposals most people in Scotland will save money while those who can afford to pay a little more, do so. The additional money raised will be used to protect public services.

We propose to improve maternity and paternity benefits and provide high-quality childcare, and will campaign to make government business support available only to those companies who plan to pay the Living Wage, avoid zero-hours contracts, recognise trade unions, reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid, pay women and men equally and are environmentally responsible. 

2. Fair Work

The Scottish Greens are unequivocal in our support for trade union rights and the need to curb the power of corporate interests in Scotland. We believe everyone should be paid a wage that lifts them out of poverty, and that nobody should be paid less because of their gender.

3. Trade Union Bill

We firmly oppose the Trade Union Bill and support active non-compliance to oppose its implementation. While Scottish Labour actively blocked the devolution of trade union powers to Scotland during the Smith Commission, we argued for it, and will continue to argue for further devolution.

4. Tax Powers

We proposed a radical tax plan to bring about real change in Scotland. This includes scrapping the council tax and replaced it with a fair and progressive land value tax. We also support introducing new bands and rates to income tax.

5. Industrial Rebalancing

We have a plan to create over 200,000 new jobs across Scotland to develop and grow our industrial base. This includes growing new and developing industries, such as oil and gas decommissioning, that will allow us to be industry world leaders once again. Greens will also support business models that challenge the status quo, promote equality and deliver more for Scotland, such as employee owned businesses.

6. Equality

We want to improve routes into work for all people. Too many people are marginalised in the labour market including unpaid carers, disabled people, women, LGBTI+ people and those from minority ethnic groups. Green MSPs will support calls for a Gender Equality in Business scheme to incentivise gender-sensitive employment practices. Greens will also back a non-permanent commission to tackle gender and racial occupational segregation in the labour market and lay out the case for the devolution of equalities legislation.

Greens will also push for devolution and expansion of the Access to Work scheme that supports disabled people to start or remain in work.

7. Childcare

We support the Getting It Right For Every Child approach to child wellbeing and policies to give children a healthy start in life. Green MSPs will help tackle educational inequality at the earliest stage by working with local authorities to deliver meaningful access to a GTCS- qualified teacher in every nursery and 20 hours early-years education per week.

8. Public Services

Public services such as health, schools and social care are the bedrock of our society and are widely supported. Scotland can fund these services, tackle inequality and raise more revenue fairly. We propose replacing the discredited Council Tax with a progressive property tax, and using new devolved powers to cut income tax for lower earners while ensuring higher earners pay a fairer share.

Strengthening local democracy should not be about the Scottish Parliament and Government devolving power at their discretion. Instead, national bodies should always have to justify why their functions are not being exercised at a local level. We support proposals made by COSLA’s Commission on Local Democracy, on which all 5 main parties were represented, that Scottish ministers should be placed under a legal duty to explain why the decisions they make are not being made locally.

9. Justice

We will champion an end to Employment Tribunal fees to help tackle workplace discrimination and support our workforce. We believe that all decisions in relation to Employment Tribunal rules rest with Scottish Government Ministers following public consultation and not with the judiciary.

10. Criminal Justice

Greens will support unions to protect the interests of workers and to ensure that legislation is passed to protect all people from harm. 

We want to bring forward proposals to ensure individuals or corporate bodies who, through failures that they knew or ought to have known could result in death, are prosecuted under common law and not health and safety legislation.

For a party that will stand up for the rights of Trade Unions, and who will actively grow the role they play in our lives, vote for the Scottish Green Party on May 5.