Trade union approach to constitutional change

In recent weeks there have been two substantial trade union contributions to the constitutional debate.

The first comes from the STUC who have published ‘A Just Scotland’, an interim report of their Scotland wide consultations with members and community groups. General Secretary Grahame Smith described their approach:

A Just Scotland lays out challenges for both sides of the debate. In particular it criticises the use of misleading figures in the debate over Scotland’s fiscal position. The report identifies deep problems with the economic and fiscal model imagined by the leading voices in the YES Campaign. However it also calls on the Better Together parties to outline a practical vision of how social and economic justice can achieved within the union and to calls for detailed attention to be paid to proposals for enhanced devolution.”

The other comes from UNISON Scotland in their ‘For a Fairer Scotland’ paper that sets out the sort of Scotland UNISON members want to see. “For A Fairer Scotland” does not advocate support for either the “Yes” campaign or “Better Together”.  Instead it challenges those campaigns and others to show how their plans can match UNISON’s vision. It states:

“UNISON’s approach to constitutional questions is one that is driven by the interests of our members, by the sort of Scotland we want to, and deserve to, live in.  This means that for us precise constitutional arrangements are the end, not the starting point of the debate. We must first define the sort of Scotland we wish to see and then try and examine the likelihood of differing constitutional arrangements on offer to deliver on that vision.”


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