Scotland's Councils have come out in force today (Monday) to stand shoulder to shoulder with their trade union colleagues against the UK Government's Trade Union Bill.
This legislation, which has been heavily criticised, from a number of organisations and agencies would require Scotland's Councils to change their existing ways of working with the local government trade unions.
COSLA's HR Spokesman Councillor Billy Hendry said;
"COSLA and the Local Government Trade Unions have a shared and long established commitment to joint working. Our partnership extends beyond industrial relations to bring joint solutions to the delivery of essential and valued public services.
"COSLA Leaders are highly concerned that these changes are being brought in with no evidence to back up the assertion that this would modernise the industrial relations between councils and their trade unions. We have a constructive environment now where we work WITH our trade union partners to the benefit of all communities in Scotland. The UK Government, through this Bill, would force councils into changing the arrangements for "check off" and facility time which work well for both parties and the cost of these arrangements are already covered by direct contributions from the trade unions themselves.
"Scottish Councils are devolved public bodies and we are making it clear that we consider ourselves empowered to make our own arrangements with the trade unions in these matters. We will honour and protect existing industrial relations arrangements in local government.
"COSLA will now work with the trade unions to persuade the Westminster Government to reconsider this unnecessary and unjustified imposition which could ultimately lead to more industrial unrest across the country."