Francis Maude, the Civil Service minister announced at the Tory party conference that there will be a consultation exercise regarding facility time for trade union activities in the civil service and whether staff should be on 100% facility time.
This consultation is part threat (if PCS continues to resist “change” then its lay rep structure will be attacked), part retaliation (because PCS continues to resist “change” we are attacking your lay rep structure) and possibly could be an acknowledgement that PCS is wining, or is capable of winning, the war for the hearts and minds of civil servants.
We should resist cuts in facility time as this lessens the protection members will have in personal cases and it could lessen the effectiveness of the union.
Regarding 100% facility time posts there are good union arguments as to why these should be ended e.g. those in such posts can become a caste, remote from the membership; that said it should be up to union to end those posts; not for the government to decree the ending of such posts.