UNISON, the largest union in local government, welcomed the pay deal for local government workers agreed with COSLA on Friday 1 March.
UNISON members had voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer in January and have been waiting on the outcome of the other local government trade unions to conclude their member consultations.
Now that those other unions have concluded their ballots, and by majority vote of the trade union side at a meeting of the Scottish Joint Council today, the deal was agreed.
COSLA will now write to all councils asking them to process payments. They anticipate that most will be able to implement in March salaries.
UNISON Head of local government Scotland Johanna Baxter said: “After a decade of zero or below inflation pay increases it is about time our members got a decent increase. This is a good deal, delivered as a direct result of the campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of UNISON members up and down the country. Given that members have waited almost a year for it we look forward to the employer implementing without delay.”
UNISON chair of local government committee in Scotland Mark Ferguson said: “UNISON has campaigned hard to get the best deal we can for local government workers. While the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity, the deal, and particularly the commitment to consolidate the Living Wage, provides important safeguards for our lowest paid members. We will work to ensure this is properly delivered.”
UNISON, the largest union in local government, have today informed COSLA that their members have overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay offer for local government workers.
The move follows a consultative ballot of UNISON Scotland local government members in which 91% voted in favour of the deal and in record numbers. UNISON’s ballot closed on Thursday 31 January.
Results of the ballot were announced at UNISON Scotland’s Local Government Committee today (Friday 1 February).
The pay offer would deliver 9.5% cost of living increase over three years: 3.5% for 2018-19, 3% for 2019-20 and 3% for 2020-21. In addition it provides a commitment to fully consolidating the living wage, putting more money in the pockets of lower paid council workers, something UNISON has been campaigning on for years.
It also provides a commitment to re-open negotiations in the event of another local government bargaining group’s total pay offer value is revised such that it becomes greater than the sum agreed between COSLA Employers and the SJC Trade Unions for the SJC workforce for the period of the agreement. The award will be backdated to 1 April 2018.
UNISON Head of local government Scotland Johanna Baxter said: “This is a great outcome, delivered as a direct result of the campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of UNISON members up and down the country. The cost of living increases meet current and projected levels of RPI and we have secured commitments to fully consolidate the living wage and maintain parity across the local government workforce. Our members have been waiting on a pay increase for over a year now so look forward to receiving their increase soon.”
UNISON chair of local government committee in Scotland Mark Ferguson said: “UNISON has campaigned hard to get the best deal we can for local government workers. While the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity, the offer, and particularly the commitment to consolidate the Living Wage, provides important safeguards for our lowest paid members.
“We will work to ensure this is properly delivered and local government workers will now receive back dated money in their pay packets in coming months.”
UNISON is calling on all local government members to send a
postcard to CoSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) demanding fair pay for all who work in local government. This builds upon the postcards delivered to John Swinney from our members working in Education calling for parity in the pay award with the teachers.
The new postcard campaign, Local Government , One Team. delivering for our local communities, will take the demand for fair pay to CoSLA in advance of the next meeting of Council Leaders on 31 August, so they will be more than aware of the strength of feeling among UNISON members.
The unions have smashed the public sector pay cap with the current offer for local government employees, at 3% for those earning £36,500 or less, 2% for those earning between £36,500 and £80,000, and a £1600 flat rate for those earning above (all based on a 37 hour week), but it still is not nearly enough to make up for the years of under inflation pay rises. Moreover, there should be no reason that other sectors of local government deserve a greater pay award.
Whilst COSLA have been consistent in their agreement with the unions about the need to uphold the principle of parity across the local government bargaining groups, UNISON needs your backing to give them the power to their elbow in their discussions with the Scottish Government and to remind them that we will not give up on this. So get your postcards from your stewards, and get them filled in and sent off or back to the branch.
Thousands of public sector workers marched through Edinburgh on Saturday 7 October calling for both the UK and Scottish Governments to scrap the public sector pay cap and pay a decent wage now.
“We are here for the many and not for the few” said Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary at the Scrap the Cap rally. ” It’s time to rise up and be counted and it’s time to throw austerity in the bin.”
Gordon Mackay, UNISON’s Senior Vice President asked why would a nurse be going to a foodbank- it’s quite simply because she’s not paid enough. Gordon went on to highlight the real terms cut in wages with many workers having £3,000 less spending power following ten years of frozen wages or capped increases. That’s a pay cut.
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.”
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.
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.”
Unimaginable, earth-shattering… what must it feel like to get a terminal diagnosis, so the last thing folk need to be dealing with is a knee jerk reaction from employers to move towards dismissal, Tony Slaven highlighting the TUC Dying To Work Charter at UNISON Scottish Council.
South Lanakshire Council and the South Lanarkshire Joint trade Unions signed up to this Charter in November last year
Tony encouraged other branches to promote this Charter and campaign for terminal illness in itself to be a protected characteristic and thus support folk to continue in work despite their terminal diagnosis if that is what they choose to do.
Representing members working for South Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire College and for other employers in the area