The TPA have been after the Unions for a long time. This and this (explained) has been brewing since before the General Election when the TPA were acting as the 'Storm-Troopers' of CaMorons Big Society reaction.
There is one way for Reps to challenge this. If the Employers in Local Authorities and the NHS want disciplinary and grievances to be handled fairly, if they want redundancy consultations and pay negotiations to be meaningful, they would be well advised to ignore the rantings of the rich boys and girls in the TPA.
My advice to reps would be to insist that if facility time goes we hold all formal meetings in the middle of the night or at weekends. That will f*ck the managers off enough to grant facility time.
Another thing for the snobs in the TPA to investigate would be the amount of time our members are suspended on full pay due to dubious allegations, pending disciplinary hearings or for the amount of time bullying managers send our members on sick leave due to their bullying methods. I am sure some money can be saved here.
I believe most managers in the Public Sector value the role of Trade Union activists. In fact most sensible private sector companies (eg Fords) allow decent facility time so the luddites in the TPA cant use the excuse that the Private Sector dont do it. The reality is that the TPA arent really interested in saving money. They and their Tory pay master's want to break the democratic will of workers organised in the Public Sector to oppose their discredited programme of cuts that will affect the low paid inside and outside the Civil Service, Local Authorities and the NHS.