BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 13:30 GMT
'No decision' on PFI union rights
A fierce row about workers rights is holding up reform

Chancellor Gordon Brown has admitted the government has yet to reach a firm decision on a promise to end two tier workforces in the public sector.

Union leaders are worried that the government is backing away from a Tony Blair pledge at last year's Labour Party conference to ensure workers transferred to private firms do not have worse pay and conditions than those left in the public sector.

When asked if the government would honour that promise Mr Brown said: "Well we've done a great deal about that already and of course any further measures we have in that area will be introduced when we've reached decisions on that."

Downing Street says merely that the government is committed to a code of practice, which the unions believe falls far short of the undertaking given by Mr Blair to the party conference.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that when staff are transferred from the private sector, this should be on terms " broadly comparable" to those in the public sector.

Thursday code

The unions feel that approach is too weak and favours the employers.

In contrast, John Cridland of the CBI said it was vital to give private companies the flexibility to change pay and conditions of employment of staff, so they can deliver public service more effectively.

Local government Minister Nick Raynsford is expected to unveil a new code of practice on Thursday, which will cover up to one million local government workers.

But John Edmonds leader of the GMB general workers union is worried this will not be enough to allay union worries

Downing Street had hoped to announce the deal on Thursday.

In his conference speech, Mr Blair said: "Work with us on the best way of delivering the service, and we will work with you on the best way of ending the two-tier workforce."


Key stories

Background

Case studies

From the grassroots

CLICKABLE GUIDE

TALKING POINT
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


 E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes