Overall the RFU welcomed the bill which included reforms relating to Picketing and ballot thresholds. However, one key proposal would have seen the removal of the facility ‘check-off’, a provision whereby union subscriptions are automatically deducted from a member’s salary.
The government’s argument was that such a system is costly and a burden to the taxpayer and therefore should be removed. What the government didn’t realise was some trade unions such as the RFU, already pay an administration fee to the local fire service to compensate for any administration costs incurred.
Therefore the RFU has over the last six months, been liaising with both MPs and representatives from the House of Lords to put our argument forward. We are extremely pleased to report that our representations have been duly listened to and acted upon, whereby the House of Lords have persuaded the government to withdraw their original proposal to remove ‘check-off’ facilities.
This again demonstrates that the power of argument can be used to pursue a cause and be successful if the argument is both strong and well presented.
The RFU will continue to use this approach for local and national campaigns which has added to our credibility as a valuable organisation for Retained firefighters across the UK.