MEMBERS of the armed forces should have the equivalent of a trade union to fight for their terms and conditions, an MP will argue this week.
Martin Docherty-Hughes, a member of the SNP’s defence team at Westminster, will launch a Bill to give those who serve the country a representative staff body.
The plans would see a body set up that is similar to the Police Federation, allowing representatives to argue for improvements in pay and conditions, offer support in personal and social matters, and make representations to the chain of command. Crucially, however, it would not allow service personnel to strike.
Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “The UK has an excellent network of service and families charities whose sterling efforts in representing their members has not gone unnoticed.
“Just as in any other walk of life, the interests of service personnel and their families are best represented when they speak with one voice, and on issues like the 1% pay freeze, or ongoing worries about the state or service accommodation. The worries I hear expressed are the same across all three services.”
The West Dunbartonshire representative will launch a Ten Minute Rule Bill, a type of Private Members’ Bill, allowing a backbench MP to make their case for a law change, in a speech to the Commons on Wednesday.
Britain’s Nato allies – Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway – all have military trade unions.