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.”
COSLA have today, Wednesday 19 December 2018, tabled an improved pay offer for local government workers, a move which has been welcomed by the trade union UNISON.
The improved pay offer has come after months of campaigning and negotiations by UNISON and sister trade unions (GMB and Unite) and years of below inflation pay increases. The new offer would deliver 9.5% cost of living increase over 3 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 for, for years.
UNISON have welcomed the move and its local government committee agreed this morning to ballot their members in the new year, urging them to accept the offer.
Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government (Bargaining) said: “This revised and improved offer would never have been achieved without the resolve, campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of UNISON members up and down the country. Whilst the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity the provision of cost of living increases which meet current and projected levels of RPI is welcome as are the commitments to fully consolidate the living wage and maintain parity across the local government workforce.”
Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee said: “This offer does not meet all of our expectations but it is move in the right direction after a decade of below inflation increases and job cuts. Many of our low paid members have patiently waited on their employer to consolidate the living wage – the employers past failure to deliver on that has resulted in eradication of pay differentials on the pay model for those doing the most demanding jobs.”
UNISON Scotland is calling on Local Government members to REJECT the employers’ latest pay offer in an online ballot running from 16 October to 5pm on 7 November. You can vote from the link on this page. The ballot will also ask you whether you are willing to take industrial action up to and including strike action in pursuit of our full claim.
The final offer from the employers, after months of campaigning and negotiations, is 3% for one year for workers earning up to £80,000. This is below inflation and does not improve low pay. Despite assurances from CoSLA about parity and fairness across local government workers, the signs are that some teachers could get 10%.
UNISON is emailing all members we have an email address for (and who have opted in to receiving emails) with a link to the online ballot. Even if you haven’t had an email, you can still vote using the link above.
No internet access? If you don’t have access to the internet or if you are having problems with the online ballot, you can vote by phone at UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857
Not yet a member? CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW BEFORE 28 OCTOBER! New members joining UNISON before 28 October 2018 will get a vote on this offer. If they provide an e-mail address to the union when they join they will be sent an e-mail with a link to their ballot after this date but before the close of ballot on 7 November.
Make sure you use your vote!
Encourage your fellow members to vote.
Recruit your colleagues to the union and get them to vote.
Share this info on your social networks so people understand why the offer is unacceptable.
Get involved in the work of your local UNISON branch.
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.
UNISON members in working in schools in South Lanarkshire are writing to John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, to highlight the vital role they play in delivering high quality education and to press him for fair pay for all those working in Education.
Last year the Scottish Government, as part of the tri-partite negotiations for teachers, agreed a bigger pay increase for teachers than that given to other local authority workers.
UNISON understand this could happen again this year and are sending the message to John Swinney that he cannot deliver on education reform unless he values the contributions of all staff equally.
Whilst the campaign is focused on education at this stage, it is part of UNISON’s wider long-term strategy to achieve fairness for all local government workers in this year’s pay negotiations.
The Joint Trades Unions, representing the local government workforce on the Scottish Joint Council, submitted their pay claim in January. CoSLA, the employers body, put forward a best and final pay offer on 26th March 2018 – the same pay offer was made to all local government bargaining groups.
At the same time as putting forward this offer CoSLA also wrote to Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, pressing the principle of parity in the treatment of all four local government bargaining groups.
They were clear in stating that if he was minded to award additional monies to any one group that they would hope he would provide additional funds so they could make similar awards for the other bargaining groups.
The Joint Trades Unions noted this pay offer and also wrote to Derek Mackay, pressing him for additional funding for local government, parity of treatment across the bargaining groups and a meeting to discuss their concerns.
Whilst these discussions continue UNISON believe it is important that John Swinney hears the views of their members working in education and will arrange for the postcards to be delivered to him at the Scottish Parliament before the summer recess.
UNISON’s South Lanarkshire’ Chairperson Margaret Gallacher, herself an education worker, said: “Last year Mr Swinney found more money to give teachers a bigger increase than other local authority workers, despite us all contributing towards the education of Scotland’s children. We don’t think that was fair.”
“Our members – classroom assistants, additional support for learning workers, librarians, clerical and admin staff, early years workers, technicians, janitors, catering and cleaning staff who all contribute to the delivery of high quality education for Scotland’s children and who all deserve fair pay.”
“Education is delivered by one team – Mr Swinney cannot ignore the contribution our members make to children’s education and if he values that he should ensure that everyone who works in education gets a fair pay rise.”
UNISON’s Head of Local Government Bargaining, Johanna Baxter, said, “John Swinney cannot deliver on his education reform agenda without the contribution of our members. When CoSLA, the Joint Trade Unions and the education workforce are all saying there should be parity across the bargaining groups he should sit up and listen. ”
“The arguments for giving Teachers a higher increase apply equally to our school support staff and other local government workers. We calculate that our members have suffered a real terms loss in pay over the past ten years of some 15%. Enough is enough.”
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.
Another fantastic family fun day at New Lanark was held last Sunday 27 August. It was jam packed with fun activities for the kids.
There was a great variety of music from the Easkilbusbies, Mhairi, the Carmunnock Covers and Palmeros. At top of the bill we had the very talented Alastair McDonald, and Carol Laula accompanying her suceessful students from her song writing session Kay Mullen and Pam Fetters.
Scrap the Cap was the serious message from Gordon Mackay, UNISON’s senior vice president, highlighting the union’s promise to smash the public sector pay cap in the coming year… we are worth it and they can afford it.
Representing members working for South Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire College and for other employers in the area