Scotland’s largest union in public services today issued a challenge to campaigners in the independence referendum.
UNISON Scotland said both sides must answer questions about how their scheme will match the aspirations and vision of UNISON members.
Tomorrow (Saturday) sees the formal launch in Glasgow of “For a Fairer Scotland” – a document which outlines the union’s priorities in the forthcoming debate on the constitution.
Alongside this, the union has framed questions that members will be encouraged to put to all those campaigning around the referendum in the coming months.
“For A Fairer Scotland” does not advocate support for either the “Yes” campaign or “Better Together”. Instead it challenges those campaigns and others to show how their plans can match UNISON’s vision.
For a Fairer Scotland states:
“UNISON’s approach to constitutional questions is one that is driven by the interests of our members, by the sort of Scotland we want to, and deserve to, live in. This means that for us precise constitutional arrangements are the end, not the starting point of the debate. We must first define the sort of Scotland we wish to see and then try and examine the likelihood of differing constitutional arrangements on offer to deliver on that vision.”
UNISON Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said: “We are not interested in an argument about national identity. It’s not where the power lies, but in whose interest that power is exercised that really matters. Today we have outlined our principles for a better, fairer Scotland. It is the task of others to show how their proposals match up to those principles.”
Lilian Macer, Scottish Convener, said: “What we are looking for is a willingness to tackle inequalities, poor health and deprivation. Doing that is social change. Unless it is explained how this is to be achieved, arguments for or against constitutional change mean very little.”
Notes to Editors
1. The “For a Fairer Scotland” document and the accompanying questions are both on the UNISON website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/scotlandsfuture/index.html
2. The document was drawn together following a consultation with members throughout Scotland over the summer.
3. It is launched at UNISON’s Scottish Council meeting in Glasgow on Sat 1 December.