Jim Eadie MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
4. Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

To ask the First Minister what steps the Scottish Government is taking to address child sexual exploitation. (S4F-02404)



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
Jim Eadie

Does the First Minister agree with children’s charities in Scotland that every one of us in society has a duty to protect children who are at risk of, or who are already victims of, child sexual exploitation? The public inquiry in Rotherham found that vulnerable children were failed by the very people and agencies whose job it was to protect them. What more can the Scottish Government do to protect children from being drawn into exploitation, to support the victims to recover and to use the full rigour of the law to bring the perpetrators of such abuse to justice?



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

The working together review, which we have been debating, is an important contribution to the wider debate about the kind of society that we want to build in Scotland. It compels us to consider what kind of Scotland we wish to see and to ask, in doing so, what kind of Scotland is possible both economically and socially.

That question is in part answered by the recommendations in the review, which signpost us to what better workplace conditions should look like through the promotion of practices such as collective bargaining, workplace democracy, respect for diversity and equality, and the participation of women on equal terms with men in the workforce. My colleague Sandra White made that point. I was pleased that five of the eight members of the review group, which was chaired by Jim Mather, were women. That sends out its own positive message.

One of the key themes of the review was developing capacity and capability in industrial relations. The use of the term “industrial relations” rather than “employment relations” is about more than semantics; it is about defining an employee-employer relationship that is soundly based on genuine dialogue and partnership working for the benefit of both employees and employers.

The background, of course, is that the UK’s record on industrial relations is not good. The UK has the lowest level of industrial democracy among 28 European Union countries; only Lithuania is worse. That is measured by the European participation index, which looks at board-level representation, collective bargaining participation and trade union membership.

One illustration of the lack of good industrial relations is the absence of a strong employee voice in our companies’ boardrooms. That stands in stark contrast to the experience in other countries, most notably Denmark and Germany. Rob Gibson spoke about Volkswagen as a model of good practice, of course.

Denying workers democratic power in the workplace has gone hand in hand with a deterioration in the quality of working life that has been experienced by people in the United Kingdom. The UK has the second-lowest pay among advanced economies, the third-longest working hours in Europe and a lack of job security among workers compared with that of workers in many other countries. Strengthening the democratic voice of employees and embedding that in the structures of companies can bring positive benefits, such as the improved productivity and innovation that the cabinet secretary spoke about earlier.

Gordon MacDonald spoke about democratic participation in the workplace. One way in which we can develop capacity and capability in industrial relations is by developing board-level representation for employees. That issue was highlighted in a report published by the Jimmy Reid Foundation entitled “Working Together: A vision for industrial democracy in a Common Weal economy”, which was co-authored by John Duffy, Gregor Gall and Jim Mather. It states:

“Board-Level ... Representation should begin at companies with 35 employees or more. All board representatives, employee and shareholder, should have equal rights and access to information.”

It suggests:

“One employee representative should be delegated by the recognised trade union, one should be ... from the Works Council”—

where that is appropriate—

“and the rest should be directly elected by all employees.”

The report goes on to advocate a co-operative rather than a coercive approach to fostering that form of industrial democracy. It states:

“We believe a model of this sort is beneficial for both employees and employers. However, we believe that a national consensus should be sought so implementation has the widest possible support from all sectors. We therefore propose a large, inclusive process ... to secure that support from both sides in industrial relations.”

I believe that that is the correct approach and one that we should support.



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Jim Eadie

I do not speak for the Government, but there would be no point in commissioning such a piece of work and not taking seriously the recommendations. Therefore, I would expect the Government to take forward as many of the recommendations as is practicable.

On the subject of the review’s recommendations, I welcome those on union-led learning, training for union representatives and the development of equality and environmental representatives in public sector workplaces. I also welcome the recommendation on a union leadership development programme, which members have referred to and which would enhance the capacity of current and future union leaders.

The review group made a number of recommendations on ways of supporting fair employment. It is critical that there is a recognition of the legitimate role of trade unions in workplaces and in wider civil society. Malcolm Chisholm spoke of the extensive partnership working that has been developed in NHS Scotland. Alex Rowley spoke about the home care sector. At paragraph 4.3.3, the review group report refers to Unison’s ethical care charter, which I think is a positive way forward in that it commits authorities to buying home care services only from providers that pay the living wage.

Chic Brodie spoke about the need for good process and communication and Liam McArthur said that the most consistently successful economies and companies are those that adopt good progressive workplace policies. Jamie Hepburn, in what was an excellent speech, expressed his aspiration that the co-operative approach to industrial relations would in time be seen not as progressive but as the norm, as it already is in much of Europe. Jenny Marra spoke eloquently about the role of trade unions.

The report said that much of the issue turns on

“the quality of the union-management relationship”.

Although that statement may appear axiomatic, it is in contrast to relevant direct experience in Scotland at Grangemouth and at shipyards in Govan, Scotstoun and Fife. For me, that is why we need a co-operative form of industrial relations and why I fully support the review group and the work that it has done.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

Good morning, cabinet secretary and colleagues. The committee has been considering the budget’s impact on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and whether the Government is in a good place to achieve our ambitious climate change targets. In its report on the 2011-12 draft budget, our predecessor committee said:

“any future carbon assessment brought forward by the Scottish Government should adopt a methodology that would enable comparisons to be made from one year to the next, to aid an understanding of how emissions from the budget are changing over time.”

However, in evidence to us, a number of witnesses said that it is difficult to tell from the budget document what impact the spending plans will have on Scotland’s climate change emissions targets.

I am aware that there is a related document, which sets out how the spending plans will support delivery of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 implementation plan, but there was quite a gap between the publication of the budget and the publication of the more detailed analysis.

Have we got it right yet? Has Government enabled the Parliament and external observers to assess whether it is on track to meet its targets?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie

On the question of a delay, I am content with your explanation, and our witnesses will have heard what you said, although I will just observe that we and our witnesses have not been able to factor that document into our budget scrutiny. However, our witnesses are intelligent people and they will find ways of communicating with the committee if they want to raise issues.

The wider point is that investment in infrastructure, such as active travel infrastructure, can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and have other beneficial impacts. Active travel has an impact on health spending, and improving the energy efficiency of existing homes can reduce fuel poverty. When you prioritise and allocate spend, how do you ensure that you take such issues into account?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie

You mentioned carbon accounting methodologies. In developing those methodologies to monitor trends, is the Scottish Government undertaking any work to help to standardise them so that all the work can be appropriately cross-referenced?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie

My final question is on active travel. In their evidence to the committee, Spokes and Transform Scotland pointed to the need for greater clarity on how the funds are to be spent on active travel, because that is not always clear. I readily concede that that question is perhaps more for officials than for you, cabinet secretary but, nonetheless, the issue causes those organisations concern.

The organisations have given an example. There are two funds—the sustainable and active travel fund and the future transport fund—but how much of the money in those allocated expenditures is spent on active travel is obscure. It strikes me that, if the Government is increasing investment—as it says it is and as I believe it is—it is not necessarily getting the credit for that, as it is not clear in the budget headings how much of the money is being spent on active travel.

The organisations have suggested that, to support greater transparency, the Government could replace those two budget lines with one for active travel and another for other future/green transport. Would the Government be willing to consider that?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie

It is not on that point, convener. I have two questions, just for completeness. They relate to the maintenance backlog and radar.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Jim Eadie

As I said, I have two specific points, just for completeness. First, how confident are you that the maintenance backlog will be removed within a reasonable timescale? Secondly, the capital plan does not include the cost of replacing the existing primary radar, which is critical. Do you have any information from the management team on how the replacement of that will be financed and what the likely timescale for the work will be?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Jim Eadie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11602: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11477: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11473: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11404: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11308: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11272: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10820: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10759: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10595: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10258: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jim Eadie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23348: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23347: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23346: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03736: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02404: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23041: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02345: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02305: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03562: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22467: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

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