Saturday, 26 October 2013

Local Govt Pay - CoSLA claim is nonsense

The real fact is CoSLA imposed a new two year offer after a one year deal had been accepted by UNISON members in a ballot. CoSLA's criticism of UNISON "dragging its feet" is therefore nonsense.

See the UNISON Scotland blog for an outline of what actually happened.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Local Government Pay Ballot Helpline Number


The UNISON Direct number above can deal with enquiries regarding members who have not received/need replacement ballot papers.

This number will be available between 10 July and 12 noon on 7 August. No ballot papers will be sent out after this period. We have been advised that it will take up to 3 working days for replacement/other ballot papers to reach members.

(Details of the Yes to Fair Pay campaign are online at )

Inflation up – Scotland’s local government workers deserve fair pay

UNISON Scotland said today that inflation rising to 2.9% is grim news for hard pressed workers struggling to make ends meet.

The public services union is currently balloting members in local government on strike action to win an improvement on COSLA’s pay offer of just 1%.

Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said:

“Sustained high inflation, coupled with a prolonged pay freeze, then squeeze for millions of public sector workers across the UK, has hit families hard.

“Parents are cutting back on food, clothes, even on things for their children – they are being priced out of basic living. Meanwhile, it is still boom time for British bankers who are dominating the EU bankers’ rich list.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Fair Pay Day of Action around Scotland - and in Dundee for #AusterityUncovered

#YestoFairPay Please help publicise UNISON Scotland's next Fair Pay Day of Action on Tuesday 25 June. Branches are campaigning across Scotland for Fair Pay for local government workers and Yes to Strike Action for Fair Pay.

Also on 25 June, Our Fair Pay Day Family Fun and Rally in Dundee is part of the STUC's Austerity Uncovered There is a Better Way tour from 21-29 June.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Delegates say Yes to Fair Pay campaign

#unlgc13 Scotland delegates to UNISON Local Government Conference stand up for Fair Pay. Ballot papers coming out soon. Be sure to vote for action! #YestoFairPay See

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

#YestoFairPay day of action today - new pay analysis shows importance to economy

11 June 2013

Today UNISON local government branches across Scotland are organising workplace events and action campaigning for Fair Pay. (Resources and info here)

Dave Watson, UNISON's Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, has blogged on today's new TUC research showing billions lost to the economy because of the falling value of pay.

".....Council workers are the lowest paid group of public service staff. We know that low paid workers will spend much of their fair pay and Living Wage in their own communities – building the local economy. A study by APSE on the Economic Footprint of Local Services estimates that local government employees re-spend 52.5p of every pound in their pay locally. A similar study in Stoke put the figure at 63p.

"Today the TUC has published an analysis of pay in the UK as part of their 'Britain needs a pay rise' campaign. They show £52bn being lost from local economies including £5.5bn in Scotland. In fact pay in Scotland has fallen 9.7% compared with 7.5% for Britain as a whole.

"A lot more work has been done on this in the US including a recent report on the cost of Walmart stores paying basement wages to the local economy. A study by Demos provides further insight. It found that if wages rose to the equivalent of $25,000 per year for full-time work, more than 700,000 Americans would be lifted out of poverty, GDP would grow between $11.8 and $15.2 billion over the next year, and employers would create 100,000 to 132,000 additional jobs.

"The falling share of GDP going into wages and the concomitant rise in profits means we have an increasing pool of capital for destabilising speculation, while the workforce becomes increasingly reliant on debt. This is a primary cause of the longest and deepest recession in our history.

"Scottish council workers have actually paid for their own pay rise several times over. Not only do they deserve a fair increase, but it’s good for the rest of us as well."

Read the full blog here


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Union announces Scotland wide strike ballot of council staff - #YestoFairPay

4 June 2013

Local government workers across Scotland are being balloted on strike action, after rejecting a 1% pay offer.

UNISON, the public services union, will ballot 75,000 members working for Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Stephanie Herd, Chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee, said: “Members are angry about a miserly 1% offer, following two years of a pay freeze.

“The year before that they only received 0.65%. Over this period the value of their pay has gone down by nearly 13%, while the cost of food and heating has soared.

“Council staff work hard delivering quality public services. They are overstretched after more than 34,500 local government jobs have gone. They are underpaid, and they see the wealthiest people in this country getting ever richer.

“Our members deserve fair pay and we believe they will vote yes for strike action to put pressure on the employers to improve the offer.”

UNISON is calling for a fair pay rise and for COSLA to commit to an annual increase in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.50 per hour. The current offer from employers includes the Living Wage, which the unions have campaigned for, but no annual uplift.

Dougie Black, UNISON lead negotiator in local government, said: “We tried to get the employers back round the table for talks after members voted to reject the offer, but the employers refused.

“It is clear that our members do not believe 1% is fair. They also lost out because they did not receive the £250 increase for the lowest paid NHS and civil service staff in the last two years, which was supposed to soften the blow of a pay freeze.”


Notes to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, including staff at all 32 local authorities.

2. The union’s local government membership includes cooks, cleaners, classroom assistants, housing staff, library workers, cleansing and environmental protection staff, technicians and trading standards workers and early years workers and social work staff .

3. Members whose conditions are linked to local government pay and conditions are also being balloted.

4. The ballot will run from 3 July to 13 August, with a proposal, if members vote yes, of a minimum of three days of strike action over a seven week period in the autumn. Two of these would be national one day strikes and there would be a rolling programme of one day strikes around the country. Selective action is also being considered.

5. In the run up to the ballot opening, UNISON branches will hold two Fair Pay Days of Action in council workplaces around the country. These will be on June 11 and 25.

6. The June 25 Fair Pay Day will also form part of the STUC’s Austerity Uncovered -There is A Better Way nine days of action across Scotland, focusing on the effects of cuts to services and benefits.

7. Unite is also balloting members in local government.

More information on our Fair Pay for Local Government 2013 campaign page:


Friday, 12 April 2013

Ballot Result – Rejection of Local Government Pay Offer

12 April 2013
UNISON’s consultative ballot has resulted in members rejecting the employers’ offer.

We are now considering with our members, and with the other trade unions on the negotiating body, what our next step is in terms of action that might be required to shift the employers.

We will want to speak to COSLA early on to seek to re-open discussions on pay.

Further information will be posted here when it is available.


Dougie Black, Joint Trade Union Side Secretary.
Stephanie Herd, Chair of Local Government Committee.
UNISON Scotland Fair Pay campaign.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Have you voted? Pay ballot closes at noon on Thursday 11 April

A reminder to anyone who hasn't yet voted in the local government pay ballot. Please do so now and return it in the prepaid envelope. The ballot closes at noon on Thursday 11 April.


Friday, 15 March 2013

UNISON recommends members reject 1% local government pay offer

15 March 2013

UNISON Scotland is to recommend that its local government members reject a final pay offer from councils.

Branch delegates meeting in Glasgow today (15 March) agreed to recommend  rejection of the 1% offer from COSLA.

A full postal ballot will start later this month.

Stephanie Herd, Chair of the union's Local Government Committee, said: "Delegates today reflected the mood of workers throughout Scotland.

"An offer of 1% simply isn't enough after suffering years of real terms pay cuts. We will now move into the ballot."

Note to Editors
Details of the offer are in our 1 March news release on our website at
And on our local government pages on the website at

Friday, 1 March 2013

UNISON to ballot members on local government pay o...

UNISON to ballot members on local government pay o...: Date: Fri 1 March 2013 UNISON Scotland is to ballot its local government members on a final pay offer from councils. Branch delegates w...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Pay Fact: Rich get richer and we don't!

If the minimum wage had increased, since its introduction in 1999, at the same annual rate as the pay of FTSE 100 Chief executives, it would have reached £18.89 per hour this year instead of £6.19. We are clearly not 'all in this together'. 

Pay: Branches to meet again after new talks

Local Government Branches meeting on 1 February heard that pay talks held with the employers on 24 January brought no progress but further talks were scheduled for 5 February. Branches decided to reconvene after that to hear a report on any progress before deciding the way forward.

Branch after branch reported their members' growing anger at the attackes on living stadards.

Stephanie Herd, UNISON Scottish Local Government Chair, said: “While the Living Wage element is welcome, the offer falls below what is needed to keep pace with inflation.

“Local Government workers have gone through a pay freeze at a time when inflation averaged 5%, food prices have been going up by 7% a year and energy prices by 15%.”

On the table is an offer of 1% from 1 April 2013. If after the 1% is applied, there are staff who fall below the ‘Living Wage’, this would be brought up to £7.50 an hour from 1 April this year.