Saturday, August 16, 2008

Got quoted in New Statesman

This is my little quote I've just come across in the New Statesman.

I appear to be the only one defending Gordon Brown in the article.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Speaking up for apprentices - Evidence to the Low Pay Commission

I'm sure everyone at UNISON's National Delegate Conference back in June heard the word 'apprentice' from the rostrum at least 10 times, thanks to the agenda being driven forward by the National Young Members Forum.

This week UNISON will be speaking up for apprentices and against low pay in apprenticeships when submitting our evidence to the Low Pay Commission. Apprentices under 19 and those in the first year of their apprentice get none of the protection of the minimum wage, simply getting an unenforceable minimum £80/week (which is less in NI and Scotland).

The Government has asked the Low Pay Commission to look at the minimum wage exemption for apprentices as part of the Government's wider skills agenda, and is taking specific evidence on this early.

Later in the year we will be submitting evidence on removing the age differentials and of course the overall rate.

UNISON have been collecting our evidence, not only for the important need for apprentices to get he minimum wage, but to the great benefits for the quality of apprenticeships. Our key case study is the scheme UNISON negotiated at North Yorkshire Council, and we have been collecting evidence from other public service schemes.

This next year will mark a key time for us to take the minimum wage forward in it's 10th year. We have been linking up with other unions and organisations so that we can work together, look out for more.

Edit - Here is our submission