Fair Pay (University of Dundee)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 21 September 2023.

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Photo of Mercedes Villalba Mercedes Villalba Labour

I refer members to my entry in the register of members’ interests as a trade union member.

This week, members of UCU, Unison and Unite the union are on strike at the University of Dundee because their employer has repeatedly failed to make a fair pay offer. Year on year, real-terms pay cuts are harming university workers, student learning and our education system. Will the Deputy First Minister join me in urging university principals in our city of Dundee and across the country to meet the demands of campus unions?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

That is, of course, a matter for Dundee university or any other universities, being independent institutions, and the way in which they conduct industrial relations. However, we would expect them to follow the fair work principles in terms of good engagement with the unions and to follow those in the same way that other institutions should. We would urge them to get around the table with their union partners to find a resolution.

I would say to Mercedes Villalba that what we are seeing from Keir Starmer is a complete retreat from workers’ rights and a U-turn on every commitment on workers’ rights, so perhaps she should have a word with Keir Starmer—although I suspect that she probably does not agree with him anyway. In terms of the devolution of employment law, I hope that she will sign the motion that is up for debate next week. [

Interruption

.] I understand that Anas Sarwar has sent a memo round, saying that Labour members should not sign it. [

Interruption

.]

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I hope that Mercedes Villalba will sign it, because I know that she is of independent mind.