Dai Hudd, Deputy General Secretary, said: “Party conferences are no place to announce such a one-sided and narrow minded attack on unions in the public sector and the civil service.
“It may play well at this target audience, but today’s statement reeks of old-style Tory prejudice and spite. Choosing now to open such a consultation will do nothing to help industrial relations and is particularly thoughtless, given the parlous state of the pensions talks.
“What’s more, the evidence points to the fact that reps in the public sector actually save the government millions of pounds a year.”
A government study in 2007 (http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file36336.pdf) showed that union reps in the public sector save the taxpayer between £167m and £397m every year by helping resolve disputes and reducing staff turnover. The same research suggested that reps in the public sector may be worth as much as £1.2bn to £3.6bn in productivity gains.
Also 99% of staff representatives receive no facility time from departments beyond the standard facilities every employer is bound to provide recognised trade union representatives by the ACAS code of practice.