As everyone’s aware, we are in the midst of some economically challenging times which are impacting on all our lives. Now, more than ever we are seeing on a daily basis, businesses struggle and with it jobs under threat.
In my opinion that is why the role of trade unions, as the defenders of workers’ rights, has become more important than ever before. If jobs are under threat, who are better placed to fight on their behalf?
That is why the council passed an amendment to a resolution last Tuesday night which defended the council’s statutory obligation to pay for union representatives for its workers.
But union representatives are also an important resource for employers, such as Tameside Council. As well as making a significant contribution to increasing productivity they make workplaces safer, reduce costs of recruitment and help businesses (such as ours) become more responsive to change by helping staff acquire new skills in addition to updating those they already have.
Right from the outset, the massive savings this council is being forced to make has been done in full consultation with the unions. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Their role has been absolutely crucial in ensuring the best possible outcome for the council and its staff.
Only by working together will we all be able to move forward together and face, head on, what are sure to be more difficult decisions as we navigate our way towards the calmer waters of economic prosperity.