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 http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2013/index.html

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: