Scottish members gear up for two-year independence debate
20 Feb 2012
The constitutional relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK has provoked debate on both sides of the border since the Scottish government announced in January that it would hold a referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014.
With both the Westminster government’s Scottish Office and the SNP Scottish government releasing consultation papers, the STUC general council is considering its response to the prospect of a referendum.
And with 11,000 Prospect members in Scotland, many of them working for the Scottish government or other public bodies, Prospect is bound to be involved in the debate.
But with more questions so far asked than answered, Prospect will limit its role to watching and reporting on developments, and consulting members and reps on its response to whatever turns out to be the referendum question.
National secretary Anne Douglas, a former STUC president, said: “As a non-political organisation, what we hope to do is to allow members in Scotland to make informed decisions by producing research papers in the run-up to the referendum.
“We will not adopt a position where we tell members what to do or think.”
That parallels the view of the STUC. Given the range of views that exist among trade union members, the STUC does not intend to reach a definitive position on the merits of independence.
It will, however, consider the broad economic and social impacts of change and promote whatever arrangements it believes will assist sustainable economic growth and real social justice.
The STUC has already initiated a process designed to encourage debate on independence among affiliates, with a view to an STUC position being finalised during 2013.
Topics: Politics & government