Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Fife Council Update (15/09/15)

Image result for fife council HQ + images

I was amazed to learn the other day that the recently retired Unison branch secretary in Fife, Linda Erskine, quickly re-emerged as a local Labour councillor just weeks after giving up her trade union role.   

Now it's not completely unheard of for people to 'cross the floor' and take on a role which means they are representing the interests of the council employer, rather than the interests of the council workforce.

But it is unusual, not least because the trade unions have a highly controversial track record over the fight for equal pay in Scotland and in different parts of the country over the past 15 years the unions are responsible for:
  • keeping their women members firmly in the dark about the huge differences in pay between traditional male and female jobs
  • panicking when Action 4 Equality Scotland arrived on the scene in 2005 and finally let the equal pay 'cat' out of the bag
  • allowing and often encouraging their lowest paid women members to accept poor (1st wave) settlement offers from council employers
  • helping the council employers put in place new pay arrangements which did not defend the interests of the workforce and female dominated jobs, in particular     
Now I'm sure that Linda Erskine has been on the scene since the early 1990s, as first of all a local NUPE official and then Unison branch official in Fife, which means she was employed by the Council for all of that time.  

I understand that Linda retired in March 2012 only to reappear as a Labour councillor in May 2012 and now acts as a spokesperson on HR (Human Resources) issues of all things.

I wonder if Linda will be called to give evidence at the forthcoming Employment Tribunal hearings against Fife Council and if so, in what capacity - as a former representative of the workforce or as a spokesperson for Fife Council as an employer? 

I'd pay money to see that, as they say.

Councillor Linda Erskine

Cllr. Linda Erskine

(Spokesperson for HR)