Mark Griffin MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Mark Griffin (Central Scotland) (Lab)

Bob Doris points out that hospital out-patients—in particular those without a car—form one of the vulnerable groups. According to Transport Scotland research that was carried out in August, only 54 per cent of those people think that access to bus services is very or fairly convenient. How does the minister plan to improve bus services between hospital and communities for out-patients?



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
Mark Griffin

After a number of tragic accidents in the past few days, Brake, the road safety charity, has launched its look out for each other campaign. Its research highlighted that, in a survey of more than 5,000 primary school pupils, more than 60 per cent think that roads can be dangerous for walking and cycling and more than 40 per cent have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike. Will the First Minister support that campaign and consider the calls from Brake, Sustrans and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health that the Scottish Government work with local authorities towards the establishment of a 20mph speed limit in all residential and built-up areas in order to reduce the number of fatalities?



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
5. Mark Griffin (Central Scotland) (Lab)

To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to make roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. (S4F-02402)



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Mark Griffin (Central Scotland) (Lab)

I welcome the opportunity to speak in this afternoon’s debate on progressive workplace policies and how they are used to boost productivity, growth and jobs. I also welcome the publication of the working together review group’s report and the chance that the debate gives us to scrutinise, expand on and express our support for the recommendations in it.

For me, employment is a key part of who we are—our personal identity. Whenever we meet someone new, one of the first questions that we ask is often, “What do you do?” or “Where do you work?” With that in mind, it is important that we take pride in our work and who we work for. A large part of that is to do with how valued we feel by our employers.

That is why the issues that the report addresses are so crucial. If they are implemented properly, progressive workplace policies give people that sense of being valued and create in them a sense of pride in their work that cannot be bought. That sense of being valued leads to a happier and healthier workforce, a workforce that has less sickness absence and is more productive, and one that boosts growth for the company and the country.

That means that it is right that the Government should be taking a lead on issues such as tackling low pay, equal pay, zero-hours contracts, blacklisting and the living wage in public procurement. Blacklisting is still an issue while companies that have operated blacklists are awarded multimillion pound contracts from local government, the national health service and hubcos. The companies that have been involved in that practice have pushed people into poverty and despair and have wiped out a lifetime of working experience, all because the workers in question stood up for their fellow workers. Those companies have yet to issue an apology for how they operated and have yet to agree on any compensation. We should question why they continue to win public contracts when those issues are unresolved. I look forward to the publication of the Government’s guidance, which I hope will give public bodies more power and confidence in taking a stand against blacklisting when they procure goods and services.

A positive relationship between trade unions and employers is key to developing the right policies in a particular workplace and, as a number of members have said, it is important that we talk to young people who are entering or who are just about to enter employment about the importance of being a trade union member.

In recommendation 13, the report says:

“The Scottish Government, local authorities and the STUC should engage appropriately to expand the reach of the Determined To Succeed/Better Way To Work—Unions into Schools and Colleges initiative and should ensure that unions are fully involved at strategic and operational level in the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.”

I was able to take part in one of those unions-into-schools sessions in my old school in Cumbernauld to give my perspective on why it is important to be a trade union member, and I would gladly take part in such an event again. Most of the pupils we spoke to did not have a sense of why they would join a union. Although many of them knew that their parents were members, they did not know what they got from being in a union. From the right-wing press, they had the idea that trade unions went on strike when they felt like it and caused unnecessary disruption.

They did not know about the rights that they had or would have at work—even the pupils who worked part time. They did not know that there is a minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds; that young workers are entitled to a 30-minute break if they work for more than four and a half hours; that young people have the right to time off to go to college or to do training; and that they have the right to time off to do exams.

They were quite surprised by the things that are in place to protect and support them—the policies that are in place because of trade union campaigns. When I asked them what they would do if they were in work and their boss asked them to work late when they had to go to school the next day, what they would do if their boss asked them to come in on the day before they had an exam, or what they would do if their boss asked them to work continuously for a six, seven or eight-hour shift, most of them said that they would probably have no option other than to do what their boss told them to do.

That is when the importance of joining a trade union became clear. That became clear when the pupils realised that they needed the strength of their fellow workers to ensure that they were confident enough to demand what they were entitled to.

That highlights that, when it comes to the progressive workplace policies that we all want, unless workers are aware of their own strength through membership of a trade union, all the progressive workforce policies in the world can be meaningless.

I hope in particular that the Government takes forward the working group’s recommendation on union learning in schools to continue the generations of pupils who leave school and become active in their trade unions.

16:26  

Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

The strategic vision document talks about reducing the operating cost base, and staff costs make up 50 per cent of that. Can you give staff an assurance that their employment and terms and conditions will be maintained? The vision document also says that the cost base has been adjusted

“in line with the revised winter passenger programme.”

Have there been any changes to staffing levels as a result?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

Perhaps you could expand on that.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

I agree with pretty much all that Adam Ingram said. I question the rationale around losing the rental income from two companies from the outset and the potential business, as the companies take their customer lists elsewhere.

The approach conflicts with the vision document, which sets out the constraints under which Prestwick operates. One constraint is the high operating cost base. Unlike other airports, Prestwick manages a lot of its services in house, so it has a higher operating cost base than other airports. The decision taken will only compound that by increasing the operating cost base.

I want to ask about the affected companies’ contracts. The competitive tenders were won against and in direct competition with the company that Prestwick owns. However, the company that lost out in a competitive tendering exercise has now taken over a contract as a result of terminating the other companies’ property rights. Are you confident that Prestwick and, in effect, the taxpayer, will not be liable for any legal action as a result of anti-competition law?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

Are the management team at Prestwick doing anything in particular that you can detail for us to increase the number of freight services that are using the airport?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

You mentioned that freight at Prestwick was up 38 per cent, and the vision document certainly puts a lot of focus on that market, referring in particular to an

“ambitious ... plan to strengthen the airport’s position as ... Scotland’s premier cargo airport”.

Can you give us any figures for Prestwick’s market share to show how it is establishing itself as “Scotland’s premier cargo airport”? The figures seemed to be in steady decline and, indeed, the airport has in recent years been overtaken by Edinburgh. What progress is the airport making in re-establishing that market share?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mark Griffin

Before I do so, I want to ask a supplementary about the marketing strategy and attracting additional services. I read in the newspapers that, on Friday, Donald Trump will be making an announcement with the chief executive of Prestwick airport. Are you able to comment on any additional services that might come to Prestwick as a result of that announcement?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

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

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

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

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
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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YesDefeated

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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NoCarried

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Mark Griffin
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10185.2: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09447.2: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08563: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08437: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08270.1: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06836: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06588: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06373: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/04/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05941: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/03/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05830: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/03/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Mark Griffin
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4F-02402: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02240: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22092: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21793: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21796: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21795: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21794: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02170: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03229: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20276: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/03/2014 Show Full Question >>

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