3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay cheques.
In a move that will be condemned by trade union leaders as another assault on their rights, the government confirmed that the forthcoming trade union bill will force public sector workers to make their own arrangements to pay union subscriptions. It is another example of the government’s hostile approach to their movement after the publication of the trade union bill earlier this month, which included plans to criminalise picketing and to raise the threshold in a strike ballot by requiring that at least 40% of those asked to vote support the strike in key public services.
It is claimed that administrative costs will be saved in the public sector as 3.8 million trade union members – 54% of the public sector workforce – are told to make their own arrangements to pay their union subscription, mainly by direct debit. Unions say this will lead to a loss in funds by making subscription payments more complicated.