Unite today (Wednesday 8 July) welcomed new arrangements with North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to improve the rights of casual workers across the local authority’s operations, calling the agreement a step forward in tackling precarious employment practices.
The casual worker protocol agreed with the joint trade unions across NAC will provide living wage rates and basic statutory entitlements matching colleagues directly employed by the council, along with clearly defined contracts of employment.
The protocol will improve basic working conditions and security in absence of overarching legislation from either Holyrood or Westminster that bans exploitative working practices like zero hour contracts.
Unite regional officer Andy MacFarlane said, “We welcome the protocol as a positive step forward in the fight against exploitative and precarious forms of employment practices across Scottish local authorities.
“Trade unions have been quite clear that the Scottish government can and should reform our procurement rules to ban practices like zero hour contracts from companies tendering for public contracts and it is an unfortunate reality that the UK Tory government will do nothing to improve the rights of casual labour.
“However, in absence of meaningful intervention from government to address the evident inequalities across our labour market, including our public sector, we need to be innovative in our efforts to improve workers’ rights with our partners in local government and in our local authorities.
“NAC have recognised the importance of improving the rights of casual labour, not only to provide better working conditions but to bolster local economic growth in an area of Scotland that has suffered more than most.”
For further information please contact Unite Regional Officer Andy MacFarlane 07810 157921 on or Peter Welsh on 07810 157931.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.