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TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Long running charity industrial dispute is settled

This post is about 1 year old

Deal ends years of industrial rancour

One of the Scottish charity sector’s longest running industrial disputes is at an end.

Social care charity Cornerstone and trade union Unison have agreed a new recognition deal, ending years of rancour between the two.

In 2018, as reported exclusively by TFN, Cornerstone took the drastic step of de-recognising the union after 24 years following a series of disputes over the implementation of its 2017 to 2020 strategic plan.

In a move unprecedented in the Scottish third sector, Unison made a legal bidto force the charity to recognise it, appealing to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), a state body which can force an employer to recognise and work with a union where more than 50% of the workforce are members.

The union won its right to proceed at the CAC and top level meetings were also held with health secretary Jeane Freeman aimed at resolving the dispute.

Talks between both sides have been on-going and there was a breakthrough late last week.

This led to the signing off of a new voluntary recognition agreement.

The agreement provides for trade union recognition and facilities, negotiation and consultation and collective bargaining on a range of workforce matters and an agreed channel for dealing with any matters in dispute.

It adopts the principles of the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Convention Framework, embedding the fair work dimensions into collective bargaining and partnership working arrangements. This will offer all employees and relief workers an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect.

Mike Kirby, Unison Scottish secretary, said: “This agreement establishes new working relations with Cornerstone. We look forward to a constructive engagement which will benefit Unison members and the whole workforce, will contribute to the development of the organisation and ultimately enhance the service to users and carers.”

Andrew Lockhart, Cornerstone chair, said: “We welcome this new voluntary agreement. The spirit and intent is to promote and maintain the best possible open, respectful and healthy employment relationship between all Cornerstone’s employees and relief workers and Unison.

“We look forward to working with Unison towards a common objective that drives the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the organisation whilst promoting security of employment and advancement of employees and workers.

“We also pledge to work collaboratively to highlight the issues facing the social care sector to improve the working conditions for care workers across Scotland and how care is commissioned.”



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