UNISON Clackmannanshire is hosting our Annual General Meeting on the 29th of February from 12:00 til 14:00 in the Bowmar Community Centre in Alloa.
A lunch will be provided from 12:00 til 12:30 when the AGM business will begin.
Motions for the AGM should be sent to the Branch by Thursday the 22nd of February.
Our speaker this year is local Green Party Councillor Bryan Quinn.
At our AGM branch stewards and officers are elected and if you don’t already have a steward in your own work place we would encourage members to come forward. Being a steward is a very rewarding experience and we provide comprehensive training program to help new stewards in their roles as well as offering support from the local branch. You will be allowed paid time off from your work in order to undertake training and duties and every workplace needs someone who can represent and support the members in those areas. If you are interested in becoming a steward then the form can be found at this link:
Clackmannanshire Council Future Ways of Working
Clacks Council Future ways of Working
Trade Unions at Clackmannanshire Council have been advised at a recent meeting that the management team intend to reopen the reception of Kilncraigs in January and they have produced a ‘Future Ways of Working’ document which will mandate a 40% return of staff many of whom have been working from home for the last few years.
We have been made aware that a comment has been posted on the Council’s internal webpage ‘Connect’ which states that this was discussed at this meeting, however it fails to divulge areas where Trade Unions did not agree or raised concerns about more staff returning to the office.
So, in the interests of clarity we would just like to inform our members that we don’t believe setting an arbitrary figure of returning to the office for 40% of their time for every member of staff is necessary and/or prudent. There are many staff who have little or no interaction with members of the public and (has been proven over the past few years) can do the vast majority of their work from home, if they so wish. We had asked the management team to remove this element and have individual Services work with their staff to agree something that works all parties.
We also have a concern about a return of more staff to the office than is strictly necessary as we’re heading into the winter cold and flu season and many of the restrictions put in place to help to reduce infection due to Covid have now of course ceased. Given that this is the first year where large-scale vaccinations have come to an end, such a move could lead to more people transmitting Covid and other viruses and so it would be counterproductive for staff who have no real need or wish to be in the building for 2 days every week to be placed at an increased risk of catching a virus from colleagues with no real benefit to them or the employer.
If any member wish to discuss the plans and or concerns they may have then please do get in touch with your steward or the main office.
UNISON Announces Program of Rolling Strikes in Schools
On Monday the 16th of October UNISON members overwhelmingly voted to reject the latest COSLA pay offer and announced a series of rolling strikes in schools will now go ahead with dates to be confirmed in the coming days.
Almost 90% of our local government members voted to reject the weak and confusing offer put forward by COSLA and to continue with our fight for a reasonable pay increase. The Scottish Government and COSLA must come back to the negotiating table and work with us to set an acceptable offer to put to our members and avoid further strikes.
School Strikes To Go Ahead
Next weeks strikes in schools will go ahead as planned, despite a last minute offer being made by COSLA. Yesterday (Thursday the 21st of September) COSLA increased their previous offer by little more than half a percent. The UNISON Local Government committee met and agreed that the offer was poor and that the planned strike action would proceed. While the committee thinks the offer is poor they also agreed that it was a small improvement on the original offer and so, as a democratic organisation, members would get to make the decision on whether to accept the offer or not.
Strike action in the schools will therefore proceed as planned and we would ask all UNISON members working in schools to take action from Tuesday the 26th until Thursday the 28th of September.
If members have any question or are unsure as to whether they should be taking part or not, they should contact the branch for more information.
Next week’s strike action is the first in a series of dates that may be called, and we would hope that COSLA and the Scottish Government would come together with trade unions to find a way of improving the current offer and avoiding further closures of Schools in Clackmannanshire.
More information is available here https://unison-scotland.org/local-government-and-schools-pay-campaign-2023/
Insulting new pay offer rejected
It has been 5 months since UNISON members rejected a pay offer from COSLA that was well below inflation during a cost of living crisis. Yesterday (13th of September) COSLA presented a new offer that was little different to the one already rejected all those months ago. The new offer has been described by Local Government Committee members as insulting and was rejected unanimously in a meeting this morning.
UNISON has set a deadline of 5pm on Wednesday the 20th of September for a new offer to be made. After this there would not be enough time to consult with members on postponing or withdrawing strikes scheduled from the 26th to the 28th of September.
UNISON’s full statement and response letter to COSLA can be found here https://unison-scotland.org/local-governments-largest-union-have-rejected-coslas-revised-pay-offer-and-say-school-strikes-will-still-go-ahead/
School Strike Dates Announced
UNISON have announced strike dates of 26th, 27th & 28th of September and we expect wide scale closure of schools during those times. Information on strike pay and pickets etc will be sent to members working in schools in due course. It is past time that Cosla and the Scottish Government take steps to resolve this dispute. Our members are not highly paid and deserve a fair pay rise at a time when costs continue to spiral and families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.
UNISON’s full statement is here https://unison-scotland.org/unison-announces-strike-dates-which-will-see-mass-school-closures-across-scotland/
School Staff Vote to Strike
UNISON members working in schools across Scotland have voted to take strike action in a dispute over pay. In Clackmannanshire nearly 98% of members who returned their ballots voted in favour of strike action. This is an incredible result and it is hoped that COSLA will now put forward a revised pay offer. We will be setting dates for strike action shortly and will provide further updates to members as things progress. For further information please click on the link below
Please see report of the SW issues group.
Attached the report of the Social Work Issues Group survey of social work ‘paraprofessional’ staff in local authorities. The survey was carried out earlier this year to support organising work.
Some very interesting reading, it confirms the shift in workload to paraprofessionals to fill the gap in qualified social workers. It also reports on issues including significant pay and grading inequities and the proposed expansion of the regulated workforce to include this group, which the SSSC is currently scoping.
The report is also online here Survey Report on Social Work Paraprofessionals – UNISON Scotland (unison-scotland.org)
Scottish Black Members Committee
UNISON Ballots Members On Pay Offer
UNISON has received an offer from COSLA to meet the 2023/24 pay award. The offer falls considerably short of what was claimed and UNISON are recommending that members reject the offer. As an offer has been made and this will now go out to members via an email ballot which will be open from 5th April until the 26th of April. Members should receive this email in the next few days and we would adivse them to please keep a watch on junk and spam folders as this has been an issue for us in the past.
You can see the documents showing the offer in full and UNISON’s response to COSLA for your consideration at these links.
In brief however this is the offer:
Effective from 1 April 2023
• A 5% uplift on all Spinal Column Points(SCP)
Effective from 1 January 2024
- An additional £0.45 on SCP2 toSCP18 and the underpinning Scottish Local Government Living Wage rate. This will raise the SLGLW by £0.99 over the course of the financial year.
- An additional 2.5% on SCP19to SCP43, with smoothing consisting of slightly higher uplifts applied to SCP19, 20, and 21
- An additional 1.5% up on SCP44 to SCP64
- An additional 1% on SCP 65 and above
Smoothing has been applied to SCP19-21 to avoid “leapfrogging” of hourly rates.
When you read the offer in full you will notice that the figures provided in the tables for the offer are based on a 37 hour working week. If you are reading the tables the important point is to consider the new hourly rates of pay and multiply this by the amount of hours you work (35 hours if you are full time at Clackmannanshire Council) to get your weekly rate, and then by 52 weeks to get the overall yearly increase.
This is what the offer looks like on the Clackmannanshire Council Grades.
The offer is 5% for every grade on current salary scales from 1st April 2023.
From 1st January 2024 there are further percentage increases with lower grades being offered higher percentages:
• Those on the Living Wage would receive 45p more per hour.
• Those on Grade 2 to Grade 5 (4th spinal column point) would see an increase of 2.5%
• Those on Grade 5 (5th spinal column point) to Grade 7 would see an increase of 1.5%
• Those Grade 8 and up would see an increase of 1%
Please note that the spinal column point at the top of grade 5 (which those who have had all of their yearly increments will be on) is above the level for the 2.5% increase and so would only get the 1.5% increase.
As we are going to start balloting we would like to remind you that it is important to ensure the details UNISON holds for you are correct. If not then you may not receive essential updates or email ballots. Please logon to My UNISON and check we have your correct name, address, job title and (most importantly) email address. When speaking to colleagues who are also UNISON members it would be helpful if they have not seen this email to send them a copy and encourage them to also check the My UNISON website.
If you have any questions please speak to any of our local UNISON Stewards or contact the branch at email@example.com
Branch AGM 2023
Our AGM will be held in the Alloa Town Hall on Wednesday 22nd of February at 12pm.
We hope that you will be able to join us there. A free lunch will be provided.
Final branch papers are available from the below links.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2023
Wednesday 22nd February 2023 12.00 to 14.00
Alloa Town Hall
Motions for the Annual General Meeting must be submitted to the branch by 12.00 noon on the 15th February 2023 to allow for inclusion within the Final Agenda.
We look forward to seeing you at the AGM. Should you have any questions regarding the AGM please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please visit http://www.clacksunison.org.uk or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on our AGM, the pay campaign and all other branch business.
Lunch will be provided
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF CLACKMANNANSHIRE UNISON
Wednesday 22nd February 2023 12.00 to 14.00
Alloa Town Hall
2023 Pay Claim
Our joint TU pay claim for 2023 has now been submitted to COSLA. The full version which contains our detailed arguments is attached.
In summary our claim is for:
A settlement that runs for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
An increase of 12% or £4,000 whichever is the greater to all spinal column points (based on a nominal 35 hour working week). This would equate to a £2.20 increase on the hourly rate.
An underpinning minimum rate of pay of £15 per hour.
An increase to the mileage rate to ensure parity with NHS colleagues.
A no compulsory redundancy agreement.
Completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, of professional fees (beyond the SSSC fees which are now paid for local government workers) incurred by members in the course of their employment.
Early completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, on how we achieve a no detriment reduction in the working week to enable members to achieve a better work-life balance.
Agreement to change the national calculator for the normal working week to 35 hours.
No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.
Early commencement of negotiations with a clear expectation of settlement implementation by 1 April review date.
The claim is set at a level that we believe recognises the following key points:
The RPI rate, at the time of writing, is sitting at 13.4%;
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which advises the government on its economic plans, forecasts that RPI inflation for 2023 as a whole will be 10.7%;
Substantial increases in the cost of living over recent years have significantly reduced the value of staff wages and the rise in prices facing workers is now at a 40-year high.
Appropriate reward is needed to sustain the morale of staff in their crucial role of delivering high quality services;
Appropriate reward is needed for the increased workload and stress placed on staff against a background of unprecedented changes in working practices and the demands that were placed on them during the Covid pandemic.
Branch AGM – 22nd February
Our Branch AGM will take place in Alloa Town Hall on 22nd February this year. An in person event will be the only way to join us. Lunch will be provided from 12pm.
UNISON Living – Win £500 towards the cost of Christmas
The UNISON Prepaid Cashback Card Christmas promotion:
** Sign up to the UNISON Prepaid Cashback card today and receive a £10 Welcome bonus!
** Entry into the Free Prize draw with a chance to win £500 towards the cost of Christmas
Members can enter at www.unisonprepaid.com/win22
Closing date 31st December 2022.
THE NHS AND THE NATIONAL CARE SERVICE
The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 21 June by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf. It is currently being scrutinised by parliament. The Bill provides the legal framework for a National Care Service with most of the detail still to be developed and set out later in regulations. The aim is for a National Care Service to be operational in 2026.
If the Bill is passed it will have a profound effect on across all of Scotland’s public services. It is a direct attack on the principle of publicly delivered public services. This short briefing looks at the implications that the Bill has for the NHS.
The National Care Service will not be like the NHS. It will not directly deliver services. It will commission and procure services from the public private
The Bill allows Scottish Government Ministers to transfer any function they wish from the NHS to the NCS – and also transfer NHS properties to the ownership of new providers
The Bill allows the new Care Boards to prevent Health Boards (and councils) from even bidding to provide services which transfer to the NCS
There is no clarity from the Scottish Government about what will happen to staff or pension entitlement in the event of functions transferring.
The National Care Service
The Bill does not set up a system like the NHS to directly deliver services. Instead the National Care Service (NCS) will procure and commission services from public, private and third sector providers. In other words the NCS is founded on the idea of the purchaser/provider split that so much effort went into removing from the NHS. The Scottish Government intend that once operational the national care service will have responsibility for social care, social work and community health.
The service will be run by new quangoes – Care Boards. How many Care Boards there will be will be decided by Scottish Government Ministers after the legislation is passed. Ministers will appoint and remove the members of the Care Boards and all the Boards strategic plans will need to be approved by Ministers.
The Bill will not take profit from the care system – it will take services from the NHS. The new system will reduce transparency and accountability as when services are transferred to private or third sector providers they will not be covered by Freedom of Information legislation.
Scope of the NCS
The intention of the Scottish Government is that all of social care and social work will become the responsibility to be commissioned and procured by the NCS. They also include “Community Health” as a function which will transfer – but are vague about what will be included. The Bill allows Scottish Government ministers to transfer any function carried out under National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 to be designated as a National Care Service function and transferred from a Health Board or Special Health Board to being the responsibility of a Care Board (Section 28). If ministers think it will “best reflect National Care service principles”. As well as transferring functions out of the NHS to the NCS the bill will allow Ministers to transfer property from the NHS to whoever the “new function holder” is.
When putting services out to tender Care Boards can if they wish exclude Councils or the NHS from being allowed to bid to provide the services. Instead reserve them for third sector providers. Section 41 of the Bill (Procurement) is entirely about allowing Care Boards to do this. In their consultation before producing the Bill the Scottish Government expressed the view that “There is no evidence that providing services through the public sector increases quality, in fact in community based services, quality is generally highest among third sector providers.”
Transfer of Staff
The Bill is explicit in allowing Ministers to transfer local govt employees out of the employment of councils to whoever is now providing the service. Transfer of NHS staff by the Minister is explicitly ruled out. The Bill though says nothing about Health Boards transferring staff out of their employment in the event that an NHS service is deemed to be an NCS service – and the Care Board decides to give the contract to provide it to someone outside the NHS. UNISON Scotland has approached the Scottish Government for more detail but the answers from the Cabinet Secretary from Health lack clarity. Having been asked about transfer of responsibilities and staff out of the NHS he replied only in the context of social care and would guarantee only that “Where Health Boards are commissioned by NCS Boards to provide services, NHS staff will continue to be employed by the NHS, as they are now.” The issue of who would be providing the services if care boards decide to commission services from outside the NHS was not answered.
For further information please contact
Stephen Low S.email@example.com
Susan Galloway firstname.lastname@example.org
Bargaining & Campaigns Team
UNISON – Update on Pay Award – Pay Circular now agreed
UNISON has received a revised pay circular and this has now finally been agreed as the permanent increase for both annual leave and the SSSC payments are now listed. The circular matches the offer that was made and our members voted to accept.
We will be contact HR Services to ask that the increase and back dated moneys be paid as soon as possible and as they have previously stated that they will do so we are hopeful this will be in the November pay runs. Copies of the pay circular along with guidance on the impact on universal benefit are listed below. Unfortunately there isn’t anything that can be done about this by UNISON or the employer as it is governed through HMRC.
UNISON – Update on Pay Award
We recently announced that our members had accepted the COSLA pay offer and we were hoping to see the pay increase and backdated wages paid out in the October pay runs. It has transpired that COSLA have been dragging their heals in regards to sending Councils the formal circular detailing what has been agreed. This morning we have had an update from Johanna Baxter, UNISON’s Head of Local Government (see below) to inform us that COSLA have been trying to time limit certain elements of the pay deal (SCC fees and the additional annual leave day) which were neither part of the discussions or outlined in their offer letter.
This is extremely disappointing behaviour and leaves us open to continuing with strike action if COSLA fails to live up to the offer they made in negotiations with TU’s. It also means our members will need to wait longer before receiving their increased salary and backdated pay.
We will post further updates as soon as we have them
Email from Johanna Baxter:
LG Pay – Implementation
Following weeks of repeated requests from us COSLA finally produced a draft of the pay circular on 7th October.
It was immediately clear that COSLA were seeking to time limit elements of the offer that had no time limitation on them in either the discussions that took place or the offer letter they sent us (SSSC fees, the day’s annual leave). On the basis that this draft did not reflect our understanding of the totality of the offer made, and which members voted for, we could not agree the circular.
We called an urgent meeting with the employer, which was held on Tues 11th Oct. The discussion was extremely heated.
I wrote to them following the meeting reiterating the position of the TU side – that there was only one time limitation contained within the offer letter (which was on the First Aid allowance), the other elements they were now seeking to time limit were not time limited previously, that it was our joint understanding and that of our members that these elements were offered in perpetuity and that if they had a dispute with the Scottish Government re who was going to pay for them that was for them to resolve. We reiterated the fact that our strike mandates remain live, strike action has only been suspended, and our position has always been that we will withdraw our notices of action once we are satisfied that the pay award has been implemented in full.
Numerous discussions took place during last week where we continued to press COSLA to resolve these issues so that the pay uplift could be paid. They sent an e-mail at the end of the week which inferred they shared our understanding of the offer but stating that they had to secure confirmation from the Scottish Government. We responded that any dispute between COSLA and Scottish Government was a matter for them and should not hold up the increase that our members are well overdue.
We have now escalated the matter to the COSLA Chief Executive.
This is appalling behaviour by the employer but please be assured that we are doing everything we possibly can to get this resolved and the uplift paid as soon as possible.
Any members who are due to pay SSSC fees should continue to do so until the pay agreement has been implemented. SSSC fees paid from 1st April 2022 will have to be repaid to members and the employer needs to come up with a mechanism for doing this.
UNISON – Members Accept Pay Offer
Our ballot on the latest COSLA pay offer closed yesterday and UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly to accept it.
The main elements of the offer consist of:
• An increase of £2000 for those earning up to £20,500
• An increase of £1925 for those earning between £20,500 to £39,000
• A 5% increase for those earning between £39,000 to £60,000
• A maximum increase of £3k for those earning above £60,000
• The removal of SSSC fees where application (social care registration fees)
• 1 extra days annual leave
• All increases based on a 36hr week calculator
The ballot return was a phenomenal 64% of members. Of those, 67% have voted to accept the offer and 33% voted to reject it.
This has been a difficult process and the branch executive is very grateful for the support we’ve received from our members in relation to the ballots and especially from those engaged in strike action.
Now that the offer has been accepted we will be pressing the employers to pay out on this as quickly as possible.
UNISON Voting opens on new offer
The new online ballot will open Friday the 9th of September and will stay open until 5pm on Friday the 28th of September.
The link to the ballot will be sent out by email.
The ballot e-mail will be sent by email@example.com with the subject line ‘Your Voting Link – UNISON Local Government Pay Ballot’
If members do not receive an email with the voting link then it is possible this has been caught up in junk or spam folders so please check these in the first instance.
Weekly reminders will be sent out asking members to vote and if there are any issues its worth checking UNISON is holding the correct information for you. To update your details please log into MyUnison on www.unison.org.uk/my-unison, or call 0800 0 857 857 for any assistance that you require.
An FAQ document has been produced which includes the key elements of the offer, the reasoning behind the committee recommendation to accept the offer, and some questions and answers which we hope will help to answer some of the questions you may have on how this offer relates to you. We would urge all members to review this document before voting. Once a vote is cast there is no way to alter it so please review all the information available to you first.
You can review the FAQ document Here
UNISON Members Considering New Offer – Strikes Suspended
Late on Friday the 2nd of September COSLA submitted a new pay offer which was negotiated with UNISON, COSLA and the Scottish First Minister over Thursday and Friday.
The offer is a significant improvement from where we started from 8 months ago and crucially it would now be consolidated in full for all members. After discussing the offer the Local Government Committee agreed to suspend the planned strike action until members have voted on the new offer. The Committee also recommended that members accept the offer now on the table. If members reject the offer UNISON will restart our campaign of industrial action.
The main elements of the offer consist of:
• An increase of £2000 for those earning up to £20,500
• An increase of £1925 for those earning between £20,500 to £39,000
• A 5% increase for those earning between £39,000 to £60,000
• A maximum increase of £3k for those earning above £60,000
• The removal of SSSC fees where application (social care registration fees)
• 1 extra days annual leave
• All increases based on a 36hr week calculator
Branch Secretary Pam Robertson said “A lot of effort has gone into getting this offer from COSLA and whether it is ultimately accepted by the membership or not, I would like express my appreciation to our members for the support shown to the local branch. In particular I would like to thank those who have already taken part in strike action or had volunteered to do so next week. It is only by taking these steps that we have dragged COSLA and the Scottish Government from the derisory 2% offered in March to what is now more than 10% for those members on the lowest pay scales. The branch and our officers will be in touch with more details over the coming days and weeks. “
UNISON Consultative Ballot Now Open
UNISON has now opened the ballot on whether our members are prepared to accept the recent offer from COSLA. The ballot will remain open until Thursday the 8th of September so as soon as you get your email please click on the link and vote. It only takes a minute.
We are recommending that all members vote to reject the offer and you can read our response to it here
The ballot is being sent by email so If anyone has not received an email with the ballot details by close of business on Thursday the 1st of September please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 0 857 857 for assistance.
UNISON Recommends Rejecting New Offer
On Monday the 29th of August COSLA submitted a new offer to trade unions in an effort to reach settlement on the 2022/23 pay award. This offer will be put to members in a consultative ballot in the coming days; UNISON is recommending that members reject the offer.
The key elements of COSLA’s offer includes:
• A minimum pay uplift of £1925, based on a 37 hour working week, which matches the offer made to Local Government south of the border. However, in Scotland only part of this payment (5%) will be consolidated into council workers ongoing pay, the rest will be delivered via one-off payments.
• Those earning less than £20,500 – around 1 in 5 of the council workforce – will receive a pro-rata gross pay increase in 2022 equal to £2,000.
• The removal of social care registration fees for all roles and grades where applicable, including social workers and social care workers among others.
• One additional day’s leave for all.
It is important to stress that this is a much improved offer from the 2% we were initially told was the best the employer could do, and is also an improved offer from the pervious week which was a straight 5% increase in pay. However concerns over the consolidation of pay and the fact that inflation continues to rise ever higher means we don’t think this goes far enough. It is also worth considering that those at the top of the pay scale would receive significantly more money than those lower down with this offer and there is a question of fairness.
UNISON has confirmed that strike dates in waste and recycling, schools and early years, that have already been notified to the local authorities in which we have legal mandates, will continue as planned during the period of consultation.
Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said: “UNISON negotiators have worked day and night to find a solution to this crises. We welcome the contribution the Scottish Government have made to date and COSLA’s commitment to scrapping SSSC fees, their agreement to a one-off cost-of-living increase, and additional day’s leave. However as we have repeatedly told them both the size of the current cost envelope is simply not big enough to deliver a decent consolidated wage rise for the majority of our members.
“UNISON’s local government committee met this morning and confirmed that strike action will contin-ue while we consult our members on this latest offer. Council workers are struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis after ten years of austerity. This is another pay cut they simply cannot afford, which is why we are recommending they reject the offer and continue with the action already planned to try to secure a bigger consolidated sum.”
Mark Ferguson, chair of local government committee said: “This is the first time since devolution that we have embarked on industrial action like this. Half of council workers earn less than £25k per year and 85% earn less than £39k per year – they are all worrying about paying their bills. Inflation is con-tinuing to rise, and our members are being asked to take a real-terms pay cut which will plunge even more of them into debt. Strike action is the last resort and we are always open to get around the table to reach a solution.”
UNISON Members strike for fair pay
On the 26th of August UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch Secretary Pam Robertson joined members in Waste and Recycling services as part of nation wide strike action in a fight for fair pay for all Local Government employees. This is the first in a series of strikes with further dates set for the 7th – 10th of September for Waste members, and the 6th – 8th of September for UNISON members working in Schools and Early Years establishments.
This is an important fight due to historically low level wage rises for Local Government employees but also due to the crippling increases to energy prices which would see many of our lowest paid members forced into abject poverty.
The action will go on until COSLA and the Scottish Government can agree to put proper funding in place for a fair and reasonable pay offer for all Local Government employees.
Together We Rise In UNISON
UNISON Announces first school strike dates
UNISON has sent notice to Clackmannanshire Council that school and early years staff will be on strike on 6th, 7th and 8th of September, after lack of progress in talks with COSLA over council pay.
School and early years workers will join UNISON waste and recycling staff who will have already started their strike action on 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th August and 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th September.
Staff will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across Scotland, in the largest strike among council workers since the Trade Union Act was introduced in 2016.
Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said: “We are in urgent negotiations with the employer to try and find a solution, but so far we have only had an offer of talks – we have not had a pay offer. Until we can explain to UNISON members how a pay offer might impact on them, council workers have been left with no choice but to strike.
“UNISON has been demanding pay talks for months and COSLA and the Scottish Government are still dragging their heels. Inflation is predicted to rise to more than 13%, and our members are struggling as fuel, food and household bills go through the roof.
“Until we have a decent pay offer that we can put to UNISON members our strike action will continue and thousands of school and early years workers will be talking action across nine councils in Scotland.”
UNISON Strike Action Looming
On Friday the 26th of August UNISON members in Clackmannanshire Council’s Waste and Recycling Services will join thousands of their trade union colleagues across Scotland on a 4 day strike demanding a fair pay offer from COSLA and the Scottish Government. Services will be disrupted at Forth Bank Recycling Centre along with Waste Collections across the Wee County.
This is the first in a series of strikes with further Waste Service strikes planned for early September and School Support staff strikes set to be announced shortly.
No worker wants to take part in strike action, it is the very last resort of the trade union movement, and it is only used when negotiations have broken down or stalled. COSLA has insisted it can’t do any better than what amounts to a real term 10% pay cut for Council Staff, for our lower paid members this represents merely a third of what Council Workers in England and Wales are being offered.
The reality of accepting this offer will mean hardship and misery for many UNISON members and their families this winter, keeping in mind that over 50% of UNISON members earn below average wages.TheCouncil is the largest employer in Clackmannanshire and if those staff members are struggling to pay their bills they will not be spending money in the local economy. Businesses will be facing an impossible spiral where costs will be rising and revenues falling. Inevitably this leads to the closure of local businesses and more people out of work.
UNISON Branch Officials have been meeting with their members to discuss the current situation and to arrange official pickets for strike days. Although taking this action reluctantly, UNISON members know that when the talking fails to deliver a reasonable offer, they need to take action to secure a fair settlement.
UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch Secretary Pamela Robertson said: “It is disgraceful that our members have been left with no other choice but to take strike action. The disruption that strikes bring to all of our daily lives is regrettable however we simply have no other means of ensuring that yet another real terms pay cut on top of the many that have gone before it does not plunge our members into poverty during this cost of living crisis.”
UNISON Clackmannanshire Chair Andrew Kane said: “Like many ordinary people across the country our members have had enough. UNISON members working in Councils deliver essential public services and like our colleagues in the NHS, the Ambulance Service, Scottish Water etc we were on the front lines of the Covid pandemic response, removing peoples waste, cleaning schools and offices, supporting children in schools and nurseries, looking after the old and infirm, all of which came with the increased risk to our members of contracting Covid themselves. We will no longer accept cut after cut to our living standards and pay. COSLA and the Scottish Government have had several months to negotiate in good faith and come up with an offer that is both fair and meets the needs of our members. They have failed to do so and so now we will take action.”
At a Council meeting on the 11th of August elected members from the SNP, Labour and Conservative groups voted to accept two contradictory council papers. One was designed to highlight the ongoing Climate Emergency and develop plans for ”be the future” to help battle it. The other paper was to allow Council Officers to tie the people of Clackmannanshire into a 10 – 15 year contract for burning our rubbish in an incinerator designed to generate electricity while releasing Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, an action that will of course worsen the Climate Emergency and pollute the environment at the same time. Luckily for the people of Clackmannanshire at least we won’t be burning our waste on our own doorstep; we will be sending it to a neighbouring Local Authority area and polluting their air and environment instead.
To read the full story click HERE
UNISON Rejects Derisory 3.5% Offer.
Letter to COSLA from Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government Scotland
We write further to your correspondence of 12th August outlining COSLA’s revised SJC pay offer for 2022. Our Local Government Committee met this morning and have unanimously agreed to reject this revised offer outright. In doing so our representatives were clear that your revised offer: is not sufficiently improved for us to put this to our members in a consultative ballot. falls far short of the Joint Trade Union’s claim, which was submitted on 17th January 2022. falls far short of the offer made to council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who have been offered a £1925 flat rate uplift, which equates to a 10.5% increase for those on the lowest wages. falls far short of the current rate of inflation, which continues to rise, and will therefore amount to a real-terms pay cut for our members and as such will plunge more of them into debt. fails to address items contained within our claim, beyond the quantum, on which there has been no progress in other discussion forums. fails to recognise, respect or appropriately reward our members for their enormous contribution to keeping our country going throughout the period of the pandemic or supporting our communities on a daily basis. On the basis of this rejection the strike action UNISON has already notified for members employed in waste and recycling will proceed and we will confirm dates for strike action in schools and early years in the coming days. We note that COSLA Leaders have agreed to seek additional funding from the Scottish Government to improve the pay offer. We urge you to get back round the table with them as a matter of urgency and extend an invitation to the three SJC trade unions to this meeting to facilitate a speedy resolution to this matter and avoid the widespread disruption that industrial action will cause. We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest possible opportunity.
FAO Scottish Joint Council Trade Union Side Joint Secretaries 12 August 2022 Dear Johanna, Wendy and Drew, Scottish Joint Council Pay Negotiations 2022/23 – Employers’ Side Pay Offer I write to advise you that at COSLA Leaders meeting on 12 August 2022 it was agreed to mandate Cllr Katie Hagmann, COSLA Spokesperson for Resources, to continue negotiations with the SJC unions with a remit to include the objectives of an offer that achieves an equivalent quantum of a 3.5% pay uplift at all SCP and a minimum hourly rate of £10.50. To be clear, Cllr Hagmann’s remit extends to discussions about the configuration of any settlement within the overall cost envelope mandated by Leaders. In writing to you, Cllr Hagmann and I note that your pay claim includes other items not covered by the negotiating remit obtained from Leaders. I confirm that we remain committed to continue discussions on these items within the scope of the pay negotiations more generally. To take forward discussions, and without prejudging your responses, please confirm if you would like us to arrange an in person SJC Steering Group meeting to take place at the earliest opportunity. Yours sincerely Simon Cameron Employers’ Side Joint Secretary
Clackmannanshire UNISON Members vote to take strike action to secure a fair pay offer
Yesterday the UNISON ballot to take industrial action over COSLA’s derisory 2% pay offer came to a close. Clackmannanshire members backed taking industrial action by almost 94% and secured a return of more than 50% of ballot papers issued which means that we will take part in any strike action necessary to secure a better pay deal for all local government employees in Scotland.. This was an enormous achievement and the branch executive are extremely proud that our members stepped up to fight for better pay at a time when the cost of living has gone through the roof and at the same time companies are raking in record profits.
Johanna Baxter, UNISON head of local government said: “COSLA leaders meet on Friday and must put an improved offer on the table if we are to avoid large-scale disruption to council services across Scotland.
Council workers south of the border yesterday were offered a flat rate uplift of £1925, which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5% increase. You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly 2% increase when the cost of living continues to spiral. UNISON have been calling for a flat rate payment to help those on lower incomes. Most council workers earn less than £25k per year.
It is clear now that local government workers have had enough and are prepared to strike in the coming weeks unless we see a sensible offer, from COSLA, on the table on Friday. This is the largest strike ballot by local government workers in over a decade and the first-time workers across Scotland have voted to take strike action in these numbers. It really shouldn’t take this for them to receive the recognition, respect and reward that they deserve.”
We will keep you all updated on further developments in the coming weeks and we would encourage all of our members to keep an eye on the website for further updates.
UNISON Ballot for Strike Action
Last week UNISON served notice to Clackmannanshire Council that they were taking targeted strike action which means select groups of workers would be balloted. These groups include those working in schools, nurseries, waste and recycling services. The ballots will be open from the 10th of June until the 26th of July.
As this is a targeted action UNISON has confirmed that all staff taking part in strike action will be compensated for the loss of pay.
In a letter to both Scottish Government ministers, UNISON – along with the joint trade unions – is warning that if the pay dispute is not swiftly resolved then strike action will “close schools across the country and see waste piling up on the streets.”
COSLA, the umbrella body representing council employers, has offered staff a 2% increase, but the union points out with inflation at a 40-year high and topping 11%, this represents a real-terms pay cut.
UNISON’s consultative ballot in April revealed almost nine in ten workers are in favour of taking action, with 89.8% voting in favour of taking industrial action up to and including strike action. Councils can avoid months of disruption to schools, and waste and recycling services, by improving the offer and giving workers the proper pay rise they deserve, UNISON says.
UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch Secretary Pamela Robertson said: “Local Government workers kept the country running throughout the pandemic, often by putting themselves in harms way. They kept childcare hubs open for other keyworkers, they looked after our elderly and disabled and they buried our dead. Most of the workers on the front lines are low paid and they deserve a pay rise that keeps them above the poverty line.”
UNISON Clackmannanshire Chair Andrew Kane said: “For many years Councils have found themselves at the back of the queue when it comes to funding from the Scottish Government. After many years of well below inflation level pay rises our members deserve an offer that will allow them to at least pay their extortionate electricity and gas bills and put food in the mouths of their children. Its time for the Scottish Government and Cosla to reconsider their positions and come back to the table with an improved offer.”
UNISON Pay Ballot 2022 – update
UNISON are currently balloting our members to participate in industrial action over pay. We must challenge this derisory offer of a 2% pay increase from Cosla. At a time when inflation is through the roof, when the cost of gas, electricity and food is soaring, a 2% wage increase is effectively a pay cut for all of our hardworking members.
This is a targeted ballot aimed only at members who work in our Schools, in Early Years and in the Waste Services so only those members will receive ballot papers.
It is important to note that UNISON has agreed to compensate all members who take part in strike action. It is anticipated that no UNISON member will be at a financial disadvantage for taking part in industrial action. UNISON understands that the financial situation is very difficult for all of our members and that the loss of even a single days pay could lead to hardship for some of our members.
It is essential that every UNISON member who receives a ballot paper fills it out and returns it, even if they decide to vote against taking action. The law in the UK requires trade unions to receive a 50% return on any ballot before taking industrial action so please take the time to fill out and return your ballot paper as soon as you possibly can.
The ballot will open on the 10th of June and remain open until the 26th of July.
Anyone who wants to join UNISON and take part in strike action should do so as soon as possible. New members must be registered with us by the 14th of July if they wish to take part in any strike action.
We will be sending out more information shortly however if you have any queries please speak to one of our stewards or get in touch with the branch office. You can call on 01259 722282, or email us at [email@example.com]firstname.lastname@example.org
UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch.
Local Government Pay 2022
As you will be aware our UNISON Scotland Local Government Workforce members have indicated by an overwhelming majority, in a consultative ballot, their willingness to take industrial action in pursuit of an improved SJC pay offer.
We had hoped that COSLA Leaders would have recognised the strength of feeling expressed by Local Government Workers we represent and take a decision at their meeting on Friday 29th April 2022 to make an offer that recognised and rewarded their enormous contribution. Instead, the unions learned that pay wasn’t even initially an agenda item. This is unacceptable, particularly as COSLA Officers have been insistent that this would be discussed at the meeting and negotiations progressed as a matter of urgency.
As a result of those assurances we made clear that our negotiators were willing to make themselves available that day or any time prior to it, to help facilitate a speedy resolution to this issue but they did not take up this opportunity. We understand however that COSLA Leaders have chosen not to improve their offer; that a motion proposing a revised offer be put forward was voted down and that COSLA officers advised Leaders not to make any revised offer until after the elections. Once again this demonstrates a failure of COSLA and its Leaders to deliver for these frontline workers. We also advise that they have not convened a meeting of the negotiating committee since 4th March thus reinforcing the lack of respect for the negotiating process. This is at best deeply disappointing, to say the least, and suggests that COSLA would rather challenge their own workforce than the Scottish Government.
UNISON have therefore advised COSLA that we will progress our preparations for a formal industrial action ballot. A formal ballot requires a turn out of over 50% of balloted members so it is essential we have the correct contact details for all of our members. In order to assist in the preparations for this I would ask you to check and update your contact details immediately, including up to date job titles, home addresses, workplace addresses, E-mail addresses and mobile numbers will be crucial if when moving to a formal industrial action ballot.
Update your Details Please ensure your membership records are updated before 27th May 2022. To update your details call the branch or log in to MyUnison at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/ using your membership number. If you don’t know your membership number please call into the Branch on 01259 722282 or call UNISON Direct on 0800 0 587 857 for assistance.
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY 2022 – THURSDAY 28 APRIL
Where we remember the Dead & Fight for the Living
Purple ribbons & other items can be ordered via UK Hazards Campaign (links attached)
Workers’ unions are pressing their demand this International Workers’ Memorial Day #IWMD22
to finally make health and safety at work a fundamental principle and right.
The ITUC and affiliates are calling on governments to take action by:
- ratifying and implementing core ILO health and safety conventions;
- ratifying and implementing all sectoral or hazard-specific conventions;
- establishing national health and safety bodies bringing unions and employer representatives together;
- requiring occupational health services for all, and proper compensation including making Covid-19 a recognised occupational disease.
Scottish LGBT+ Newsletter available to download below
Year of the Disabled Workers
UNISON’s priorities on disability are led by the union’s own disabled members. Our local branch can help disabled members by fighting discrimination and campaigning and organising in the workplace.
There are more than 10 million disabled people in the UK. Cuts to public services and benefits have a disproportionate effect on disabled people, especially as over one and a half million of them live in relative poverty because of low benefit levels and the lack of suitable accessible jobs.
The Scottish Disabled Members Committee (SDMC) is a self organised group consisting entirely of disabled members who campaign on behalf of our disabled members to ensure that disability issues are given a voice within UNISON
Year of the Disabled Worker
UNISON has designated 2022 as Year of Disabled Workers marking a year-long campaigning and organising agenda to support disabled people into employment, into meaningful roles and with real career progression, and to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Many people in our workplace have a condition or illness that is covered by the Equalities Act 2010.
· Disabled people are less likely to be in employment, and are more likely to be in lower paid roles far below their aspirations or abilities.
· The employment prospects for people with certain disabilities is even poorer, and those who have learning disabilities or mental health conditions being least likely to be in employment.
· Many people suffer in silence, frightened that by informing someone of their disability they could end up unemployed
· Not all disabilities are visible
· Disabilities can be Physical and/or Mental
· Despite starting school with the same aspirations as non-disabled children, disabled school leavers are half as likely to be in education, employment and training as their non-disabled peers.
Our branch have committed to THREE pledges for 2022 to help raise awareness of disabled members issues and protect the rights of disabled members.
Our pledges are:
1. Establish a disabled members’ contact in the Branch
2. Make Year of Disabled Workers a standing item on our branch agenda for 2022 to make sure you stay focused on disability issues and all Year of Disabled Worker’s activity.
3. Commit to on activity to support Year of Disabled Workers and let us know what you’re doing so we can promote your branch’s work through Scotland and the UK.
Lawrence Hunter has agreed to be the Branch’s contract in the Branch, He can be contacted at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to help Lawrence develop the local disabled members self organised group and to raise disability awareness please drop him an email.
The self organised groups aims will be to eliminate negative attitudes ans prejudices in the workplace
Scotland Disabled Members Facebook page
You can also follow the Scotland disabled members on Facebook to keep informed on what’s going on throughout 2022, and to be signposted to useful materials. https://www.facebook.com/UNISONScotlandDisabledMembers
Webinar: Removing the Barriers
16 March 2022, 5pm-6.30pm (online)
This webinar is co-sponsored by UNISON Scotland’s Disabled Members Committee and UNISON Lothian Health branch as part of UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers.
Disabled people face challenges gaining and maintaining employment and achieving career progression through avoidable workplace challenges and barriers caused by attitudes, assumptions, and workplace structures and policies.
The unemployment rate for people with a disability is twice that of the general population and that’s shameful. The Disability Union decided it is time to
educate and raise awareness of this issue and change perceptions of what employees with disabilities can achieve.
The event will hear from Kirsty Smillie of the Disability Union – a UK-wide community group that works to improve disability rights – who is asking employers to remove the invisible barriers that disabled people face finding and remaining in work.
Full BSL and Captioning Services are provided.
The online event will take place via Microsoft Teams and you can register to attend by hovering over Event Brite and then pressing Ctrl and simultaneously click your mouse or by registering at the following site – https://unison-scotland.org/webinar-removing-the-barriers-16-march/
Annual General Meeting Information
It is time again for members to come together for our UNISON Annual General Meeting and the dates and times for this are as above. 2021 has been a year none of us can forget and we know that some members have been affected badly both emotionally and financially. We are going to offer a prize draw for all members attending an AGM with 3 prizes – First prize £50. Second prize £30 and Third prize £10, these will be supermarket vouchers. The draw will be done at UNISON Regional office. The meeting will be held virtually via video conference on Microsoft Teams. The link for the AGM will be sent to members who wish to attend by email on Wednesday 16th February along with the relevant papers. If you would like to attend the AGM then you need to let us know, I would ask that you contact the branch as soon as possible at: email@example.com and confirm your name, workplace and which meeting you would like to attend. This will enable me to send an invite out. Motions for the Annual General Meeting must be submitted to the branch by 12.00 noon on the 16th February 2021 to allow for inclusion within the Final Agenda. If you wish to attend the AGM but do not have access to a computer, or have an access requirement, then please get in touch at the address below and we will do our upmost to facilitate your participation in the meeting by arranging an additional tele conference AGM for you. We look forward to seeing you at the AGM. Should you have any questions regarding the AGM please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS 2022
Wednesday 23 February 2021 12.00 to 14.00
Thursday 24 February 2022 12.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 19.00
Below is a link to the Unison Mental Health tool kit.
Please feel free to access and download
2022 Pay claimFurther to our branch consultation, discussion with the other SJC trade unions and as unanimously agreed by the Local Government Committee last Friday please find attached a copy of the SJC Joint Trade Union 2022 pay claim.
Our claim is for:
- A settlement that runs for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
- A £3,000 flat rate increase to all spinal column points (based on a 35 hour working week).
- An underpinning minimum rate of pay of £12 per hour.
- The payment of SSSC fees for all by 1st April 2022 and completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, of all other professional fees incurred by members in the course of their employment by March 2023.
- Early completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, on how we achieve a no detriment reduction in the working week.
- Agreement to change the national calculator for the normal working week to 35 hours.
- An agreement that in future all allowances are automatically uprated in line with October inflation rates.
- Agreement of home/hybrid working guidance that provides appropriate recompense for expenses incurred as a result of home/hybrid working.
- A review of the job evaluation scores for roles that have changed during the period of the pandemic and/or have new additional qualification requirements.
- No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.
- Early commencement of negotiations with a clear expectation of settlement implementation by 1 April review date.
UNISON members are encouraged to take action against new legislation, which will drastically affect the right to protest
LG Pay 2021 -Common Queries
We are currently dealing with a very high volume of queries relating to the LG pay ballot. I have listed below some of the common questions that have arisen, in addition to those covered by the FAQs, and responses to them.
Other TU’s are recommending rejection of the offer – why are UNISON recommending acceptance? This is simply not true. Unite have recommended acceptance. GMB put the offer out to consultation without a recommendation but have informed members it is the best that can be achieved by negotiation.
Why are GMB members in Glasgow getting a higher offer than members employed elsewhere? Again, this is not the case. GMB members in Glasgow have raised a number of local issues with Glasgow City Council – there are no, and will not be any, local revisions to the pay offer. SJC pay is negotiated nationally by the joint trade unions – no discussions on SJC pay will take place without UNISON being in the room.
I work in social care and you have just asked me to sign a petition calling for a £2k loyalty bonus and a £2k welcome bonus. If this is what they union is asking for why are you also advising me to vote to accept this offer from COSLA which is for a lower amount? The ‘asks’ outlined in the social care petition are for members working in social care in the third and private sector and are unrelated to the pay negotiations for social care members employed by local authorities.
I received an e-mail from UNISON nationally telling me to vote to take industrial action on local government pay – why are you telling me to accept this offer? There are multiple ballots taking place across the union at the same time right now. The recent e-mail issued by UNISON head office related to NJC pay – that is for members employed by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It does not apply to members in Scotland.
The e-mail you have received from our Scottish Head of Local Government and Local Government Chair re the SJC ballot is what we are asking you to vote on, with the Committee’s recommendation to accept.
I haven’t received my vote – where is it? If you have not received an e-mail with your voting link please, in the first instance, check your junk/spam folders. If it is not there and you still have not received it by the end of this week please call 0800 0857857 or log in to MyUnison (https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/) to check that the details we hold for you are up to date.
I don’t have an e-mail address on your system/my e-mail address has recently changed – how do I get a vote? As long as your membership records are updated BEFORE 22nd November 2021 you will receive an e-mail with your voting link. To update your details call 0800 0857857 or log in to MyUnison at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/
The system doesn’t allow me to vote to reject! It does. The option is to select “vote here” on your e-mail and scroll to the bottom of the ballot page where the voting options are located.
The system is telling me that I have already voted when I haven’t – how can I cast my vote? This is a safety feature to help prevent duplicate voting. We suspect what is happening is that the link has been clicked on and closed before using the vote button and the system is then blocking the IP address. Members should clear their cookies and try the link again. It should then work. To clear cookies check online for advice on the specific device you may be using or the following steps may assist: On your computer, open Chrome. At the top right, click ‘More’. Click ‘More tools’. Clear browsing data. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select ‘All time’. Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes. Click Clear data.
I have clicked on the ballot link but the page is not loading – how can I vote? The ballot link is currently experiencing a lot of web traffic and is having difficulty loading for some. It has been brought to our attention and we have raised the issue with customer support. Please try it again later – you have until midday on the 29th November to cast your vote.
I accidentally voted to accept (or reject) when I meant to reject (or accept) – can I change my vote? Unfortunately not. The vote is anonymous and so the system quite rightly does not allow us to make changes to it. To do otherwise may leave the voting system open to abuse.
LG Pay Ballot – Update
Our new consultative ballot on the revised LG pay offer is now live and will be sent out by email. The email should be hitting your mailbox shortly, though the system sends them out in batches so they will not all arrive at the same time.
An FAQ document has been created to help to answer any questions you may have and can be found here.
The ballot will run until midday on the 29th November and new members will need to join by 22nd November to be included in the ballot.
If you have not received an e-mail with your voting link please, in the first instance, check your junk/spam folders. If it is not there and you still have not received it by the end of this week (Friday 12th of November) please call 0800 0857857 or log in to MyUnison (https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison) to check that the details we hold for you are up to date.
Clacks Pre-Festive Wellbeing Events (24th Nov – 3rd Dec)
Please see link below to see the Clacks Pre-Festive Wellbeing programme, starting on Wednesday 24th November to Fri 3rd December.
The exciting programme highlights the various daily sessions, and there is something for everyone.
Bookings can be made either by clicking on the ‘To book’ icon next to the session on the electronic flyer, or by visiting the clacks staff info page http://clacksweb/coronavirus/wellbeing/
UNISON Secures increased SLG pay offer
UNISON have received an improved pay offer for the pay year 2021 -2022. The new offer will back date the increase in pay to Jan 2021 instead of March 2021 which increases it’s value specifically for those on low pay. UNISON will be writing out to SLG members to ballot on whether to accept the new offer or not. UNISON’s Local Government Committee is advising members to accept the improved offer.
The pay offer now stands as:
- An increase in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW) hourly rate to £9.78.
- An £850 flat rate increase for those earning less than £25,000 annually (4.72% – 3.43% depending on starting salary). This covers national SCP 2-40 and is calculated on a nominal 37 hour working week.
- A 2% increase for those earning between £25,000 and £40,000
- A 1% increase for those earning between £40,000 and £80,000
- A £800 flat rate increase for those earning more than £80,000 annually
- A back dating of the implementation date of the pay award and the increase in the SLGLW to 1 January 2021. To be clear this takes the value of the flat rate increase from £850 to approximately £1,062 in the year 1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022. While it is acknowledged that the backdating element of the increase is non-recurring it equates to a 5.89% increase in the year for those earning at the current SLGLW rate.
Local Government Pay Ballot – Clackmannanshire Result
UNISON ran a ballot on industrial action over the 2021/22 Local Government pay offer during the month of September. Those eligible to vote were school cleaning staff, school janitorial staff, school catering staff and waste and recycling staff. Although 100% of ballots returned were in favor of taking industrial action the percentage of ballot papers returned was only 30% of all those entitled to vote. Unfortunately the UK has strict laws on industrial action and a 50% return is required for the ballot to be considered valid.
Talks are ongoing at a national level around our next steps and we await the results from the ballots of other trade unions and whether they will proceed with industrial action.
COVID Workforce Issues Update
Schools Reopening Guidance
The Scottish Government guidance for the phased re-opening of schools, as announced by the First Minister today, has now been published and can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-schools-reopening
Annual General Meetings 2021.
Information can be found on http://www.clacksunison.org.uk/?page_id=444
UNISON Scotland has been lobbying Government and seeking negotiated agreements for homeworking expenses to be paid as allowances via payroll. We have not made any significant headway in any sector on early agreement and payments on this basis. So without prejudice to UNISON’s ongoing efforts to secure collective agreements with Employers, we are issuing information to allow you to make an individual claim to HMRC for tax relief for these new expenses incurred for business during this tax year which ends 31 March 2021.
Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection. They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.
You may also be able to claim tax relief on equipment you’ve bought, such as a laptop, chair or mobile phone.How much you can claim
You can either claim tax relief on:
- £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for previous tax years the rate is £4 a week) – you will not need to keep evidence of your extra costs
- the exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount – you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts
You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6).
To claim these expenses, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. You can create a user ID if you do not already have one.
Creating a Government Gateway ID usually takes about 10 minutes. It works best if you have:
- your National Insurance number
- a recent payslip or P60 or a valid UK passport
Please see below and cascade this information your members who are working from home.
New General Secretary Christina McAnea
I promise to work across all parts of our union, for all our members.
Click download link above