Category Archives: Pay Campaign

We are one team, we all deserve fair pay

8 June 2018

Education It's ONE Team
Education It’s ONE Team

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 on the streets of Edinburgh call to end the public sector pay cap

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.

Dave Prentis at scrap the cap rally
Dave Prentis at scrap the cap rally

“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.

 

 

Pay up now! Scrap the public sector pay cap – march in Edinburgh Saturday 7 October

Pay up now!

March to scrap the cap

Saturday 7 October 2017

Edinburgh

Assemble from 11am at Johnston Terrace next to Castle. The march will head off at 11.45am

Thousands of folk from across Scotland will be marching in Edinburgh on Saturday 7 October in support of UNISON’s campaign to scrap the pay cap and pay up now.

We  are calling on both the UK and the Scottish government to  end the enforced freezes and pay caps that have been in place for the last decade.

In this time the value of the wages of council workers has fallen over 15% behind inflation. This is in effect a cut in the value of our pay by 15%.

We will march  from the Castle, down the Royal Mile to Holyrood for the rally with UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis.

Watch out for free food, entertainment and activities  too!

Free food

  • Cheese Burger & Chips Or Veggie Option
  • Plus Hot or Cold Drink

Entertainment

  • Tickets to Dynamic Earth
  • Face Painters
  • East Lothian Bouncy Castles
  • Giant Event Slide
  • Large Bouncy Castle
  • Surf Simulator
  • Sumo Wrestling set
  • Bungee Run
  • Kids Fun Fair Ride

Join us to get our voices heard and have a great day out too!

Another fantastic family fun day

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.

Gordon Mackay at New Lanark Family Fun Day
Gordon Mackay at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

Mhairi at New Lanark Family Fun Day
Mhairi at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

Palmeros at New Lanark Family Fun Day
Palmeros at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

Carmunnock Covers at Family Fun Day
Carmunnock Covers at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

Alastair McDonald at New Lanark Family Fun Day
Alastair McDonald at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

Carol Laula at New Lanark Family Fun Day
Carol Laula at New Lanark Family Fun Day

 

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.

Local government members vote to accept two year pay offer

Over 88% of Scottish local government members voting in their pay ballot have accepted a two year offer with a new Living Wage deal. Staff will now get a 1.5% rise from 1 April 2015 and 1% from April 2016.

Importantly, the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.85 per hour will be put in place before the 1.5% rise, making it £7.97 an hour.

And in April 2016, the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended figure of the Living Wage Foundation, again before the 1% rise. There will also be talks on removing the pay points below the Living Wage level.

Negotiators succeeded in getting the initial offer of two years at 1.25% front-loaded to 1.5% in 2015 which is above inflation and slightly increases the value of the 1% in 2016. In August inflation was 0.0% on the Consumer Prices Index and 1.1% on the Retail Prices Index.

February Meetings for South Lanarkshire UNISON Members

For an update on cuts, pay and proposed branch constitution changes and more..

HAMILTON
Monday 2 February at 12:30pm and 7pm, Council Chamber, SLC HQ,

RUTHERGLEN
Tuesday 3 February at 12:30pm and 7pm, Ground Floor, King Street, Rutherglen

LANARK
Monday 9 February at 12:30pm uand 7pm, Council Chamber, South Fennel, Lanark

EAST KILBRIDE
Tuesday 10 February at 12:30pm uand 7pm, Council Chamber, Civic Centre, East Kilbride

3 Hamiltons Living Wage Link Up

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tonight hosted an online link up between three Hamiltons across the globe – Scotland, Canada,and New Zealand.

Although separated by thousands of miles the stories couldn’t be any more similar. We are all fighting to expand the take up of the Living Wage through out both the public and private sectors not only as a way to eradicate poverty but also as a logical way to boost the economy.

Sarah Wiktoski from the Poverty Alliance highlighted the Scottish situation and the particular success within the public sector.

In the meantime the inclusion of the consolidation of the Living Wage throughout local government in Scotland in the recent improved pay offer is a great achievement.