Scotland committee: praised by Conference

Delegates hail Prospect Scotland committee's successes

Delegates to Prospect’s national conference in Glasgow in May congratulated the Scotland committee created by the union to bring clarity to members on the potential impact of an independence referendum.

The successful motion from Rosyth Royal Dockyard branch also recognised that whatever the outcome of the referendum, Prospect would still have a role in shaping and influencing change at work.

Mover Keith Forrest said the day before’s panel debate had been the culmination of work that began shortly after Prospect’s 2012 conference. Setting up the Scotland Committee had increased access to politicians and decision-makers and raised the profile of the union. “We should build on this model,” he said.

David Avery (Scottish Government) called on the NEC to work with members to draw up a vision for a Scottish civil service ahead of the referendum.

Even with a “no” vote, substantial changes to public sector working would still be likely in the event of further devolution of powers, his motion stated.

Avery said: “Prospect, alongside the other civil service unions, has an opportunity to influence the shape of public services in Scotland as part of a working group announced by the Deputy First Minister last night.”

This was a “monumental task” that could not wait until after September 19. “The longer we leave it, the less influence we will have over the potential shape of public service post referendum.”

Delegates supported the motion.

John Riddet (Scottish Government) called for a change to Prospect’s communications policy to ensure that “where articles apply only to specific administrations and are not applicable UK-wide, this is made clear.”

He cited confusion among Scottish members who had received a bulk communication on performance management that did not apply to them.

Irene Danks (Scottish Regional) said: “We are simply asking for clarity, not special treatment.”

Philip O’Rawe (NEC) moved remission. He said as someone working in Northern Ireland he had sympathy, but felt it was enough to “make the effort”. Heather Phillips (NEC) felt the motion’s instruction was “too heavy handed”. Delegates supported remission.