Church of Scotland ends collective bargaining agreement with Unite the Union

Staff at the Church of Scotland offices have voted to end the collective bargaining agreement with Unite the Union. The employer will now be giving Unite six months' formal notice of the decision.

A ballot of the 220 staff saw an 80% turnout and a vote of 93 to 80 in favour of an end to the 8-year old recognition agreement. Staff unhappiness with Unite's approach came to the surface following a dispute over pay earlier this year. Unite called for industrial action in an attempt to disrupt the first weekend of the Church's General Assembly, which is a key event bringing together church members from across Scotland.

"Calls for a staff association instead of the trade union have been heeded by the employer at a meeting this afternoon" said Pauline Weibye, Secretary to the Church's Council of Assembly, "and we will now be working closely with the whole staff group to ensure that we have robust collective bargaining arrangements for the future. Unite will continue to be able to represent individual staff union members."