My proposition P112/2011, Right to a Friend was debated yesterday but was rejected by 22 votes to 17. The fishermen had a good day as the Chamber was awash with red herrings as one excuse after another was advanced by the Executive and their allies who successfully denied employees of the right to friend when appearing before Grievance or Disciplinary Hearings.
The most telling excuse was the claim that employers had not been consulted. I have always been of the view that there is no need as many had already expressed their objection to my proposition.
However in attempt to appease the Chief Minister and Social Security Minister, in July I agreed to defer debating my proposition until the September meeting. Along with employer’s representatives in late July I attended a meeting called by the States Employment Board. It was agreed that employer representatives would be contacted and asked to comment on my proposition with the proviso that an early response was required to ensure that comments were received before the September debate.
During yesterday’s debate it was revealed that the Employment Forum had been asked to comment but had only met on 25th October and wanted more time to consider my proposition. It was clearly a stalling tactic which unfortunately worked because it gave Members the opportunity of rejecting my proposition to await the outcome of the Forum’s comments. Unfortunately I will no longer be a States Member when the comments are received.
One interesting point was that only 39 of the 53 Members were in the Chamber to vote. Whilst 4 Members were either ill or out of the