Category Archives: Ballot

You deserve fair pay. Vote Now!

UNISON urge council staff to vote in landmark industrial ballot

South Lanarkshire Council UNISON members are being balloted along with their local government colleagues across Scotland in what is seen as the first big test of the new Trade Union Act 2016.

This tory government legislation means that unless 50% of eligible members take part in the ballot, UNISON cannot call industrial action. There have been localised disputes, but this is the first large scale UK ballot under the new legislation.

UNISON local government members across Scotland are being balloted for industrial action, including strike action, because they had already voted overwhelmingly to reject the pay offer that was put forward earlier this year.

Years of pay restraint and inflation means local government pay is worth far less now than ten years ago. Standards of living have been squeezed as the price of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise.

Mike Kirby, UNISON Scotland secretary said, “This UNISON Scotland ballot affects every trade unionist. It is important that we show the UK government that we will not be bullied by the Trade Union Act 2016. Local government staff have seen big cuts in pay and they have the right to decide how they negotiate with their employers. We urge all UNISON members to return their ballot paper before the 30 May deadline.

UNISON members are clear that what is on the table is derisory considering the cuts that council workers have had to endure. The votes of our 70,000 members could affect the future earnings of nearly four times as many workers – so its crucial we make our voice heard. UNISON has fought hard for fair pay and to end pay restraint and we are recommending further industrial action. But above all we are urging UNISON members to vote.”

Editor’s notes

In the recent consultative ballot UNISON members overwhelmingly rejected the employers’ pay offer for 2017/18 – by 78% to 22%. The employers’ offer was: £350 flat rate for those earning up to £35,000; 1% for those earning over £35,001; Scottish local government living wage to be the minimum pay for all pay and allowances including additional hours, contractual overtime and other allowances. It will be pensionble.

UNISON to ballot local government members in fight for fair pay

Following a resounding 77.6% rejection in the consultative ballot on the employers’ pay offer, UNISON will now move to ballot its 70,000 local government members across every local authority in Scotland on industrial action.

Dougie Black, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: “Local government workers have suffered years of pay restraint and their pay is worth far less now than ten years ago. The cost of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise and, as a consequence, their living standards have been severely eroded. This can not continue.

“If pay had even just risen with inflation a home care worker, for example, would be paid £19,900 a year when instead they are paid just £16,900; an early years’ worker would receive £24,100 instead of £20,400 and a library assistant would earn £26,400 instead of £22,400. And that’s just to keep up with the cost of living.

“Fair pay remains a priority for UNISON. Our members are the cogs that keep local government services turning and they deserve to be treated fairly.”

Local government pay ballot closes noon 7 April – Ballot now closed

UNISON urges local government members in Scotland to vote to reject the unfair pay offer. You only have until midday on 7 April to vote at unison.org.uk/lgscot17 in the online consultative ballot.

What’s not fair?
Your pay is worth far less now than ten years ago after years of pay restraint and inflation. Local government workers are seeing their living standards squeezed as the prices of food, gas and electricity, travel, food and childcare continue to rise. But while inflation indexes show how costs are rising, the impact on individual households is often worse. This cannot continue.

The employers have offered:
• Employees earning less than £35,000 a £350* increase (*pro rata based on 37 hours)
• Employees earning more than £35,000 a 1 per cent increase.
• Scottish Local Government Living Wage is the minimum pay for all pay and allowances including additional hours, contractual overtime and other allowances. It will be pensionable.

What is fair?
The employers’ offer falls far short of our claim. We asked for:
• A flat rate payment of £1,000 for all employees.
• The continued uprating of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.
• A future pay strategy to identify and redress the imbalance caused by previous pay awards below the rate of inflation.

UNISON urges you to reject the offer.

General secretary election 2015

Your union – your vote

UNISON is holding an election this year to choose who will be general secretary and lead the union for the next five years.

If you’re a UNISON member, it’s time to be heard and use your vote in the ballot, which opened on 9 November.

Ballot Helpline

You can request a replacement ballot paper any time from 16 November until noon on 1 December by calling the helpline on 0800 0 857 857.

There’s no bigger role in the union than that of general secretary.

It’s one of the most high-profile jobs in the country – leader of the largest public service trade union in the UK and the leading voice of more than 1.3 million public service workers.

All UNISON members, including retired members, who were in membership on 9 August 2015, have the right to vote in this important election.

The ballot closes at 5pm on 4 December.

UNISON members vote to maintain political fund ballot

Commenting on the result of UNISON’s political fund ballot, which saw 87% of members vote to maintain the fund in a postal ballot, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Our members have spoken loud and clear that they want UNISON to continue to promote their interests at European, national and local levels. This is in spite of the government’s cynical ‘gagging act’ that aims to reduce the lobbying power of trade unions while the Tories happily sit back and pocket millions from corporate and financial elites.

“UNISON campaigns hard to defend jobs and decent employment standards, to promote public services and equality, and to protect the health and safety of our members, and this is possible because of the political fund.”