The results of the consultative ballot for local government UNISON members in Scotland was a resounding yes to accept the revised pay offer, with over two thirds of the votes for agreeing to the offer.
Strike action for the 21 October had been suspended, whilst members were consulted on the offer… an offer that would commit the employers to the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery, the consolidation of the living wage and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.
Whilst at South Lanarkshire Council, the living wage had already been consolidated, this was not the case for the majority of local authorities, so this is a great achievement for UNISON members throughout the country.
However the fight for fair pay continues.
Following a meeting of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee today, the committee has taken the decision to suspend strike action planned for 21 October and consult our members on new proposals put forward by the Scottish Employers (CoSLA).
The proposals concentrate on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.
The view of the Scottish Local Government Committee is that these proposals represent a significant change to the current award. In line with our agreed procedures UNISON is consulting members on the revised pay offer from the employers and a full consultative ballot will now take place.
The ballot will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.
South Lanarkshire UNISON council workers will join their local government colleagues across Scotland in a one day strike on Tuesday 21 October as the start of a national programme of industrial action for a fair pay.
Douglas Black UNISON regional officer for local government said ‘UNISON has consulted its members and the clear democratic decision is to take further industrial action. We will be running a programme of action which will affect every area of Scotland. We do not take decisions like this lightly. Our members know how many people rely on our services. But local government pay has dropped 14% since 2007. We have seen 39,400 job losses. And UNISON members feel they have to say enough is enough’
UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scotland and the biggest in local government. UNISON balloted members in local government between 9th to 29th September 2014. The UNISON ballot result was 53.5% for yes and 46.5% for no.
Douglas Black continued ‘This is a clear democratic decision. Our demands are simple. Fair pay for all workers and an end to low pay, and for employers get back round the table to discuss the big issues facing local government. There is real anger out there and so they need to talk to us as soon as possible.’’
Scottish employers have imposed a pay award of 1% on our members from 1 April 2014. This is below inflation and below Retail Price Index. UNISON members pay has eroded by 14% since 2007, based on Retail Price Index