We negotiate for better pay and conditions, help individuals in trouble and campaign for a safer, fairer society.
UNISON is Britain’s biggest union, representing almost 1.3 million people across the UK’s public services.
A number of members have contacted us regarding media reports that the Teaching Unions have received a revised pay offer and asking whether that now means our own pay negotiations have re-opened.
The re-opener clause in our pay deal states “A commitment to re-open negotiations with the Joint Trade Unions in the event of another Local Government bargaining group’s total pay offer value being revised such that it becomes greater than the sum agreed between COSLA Employers and the SJC Trade Unions for the SJC workforce for the period of the agreement.”
Here’s what we know of the current position:
– The press is reporting on a letter sent to the Teaching Trade Unions by John Swinney MSP
– We understand that this is not an ‘offer’ made as part of the collective bargaining machinery – it is a ‘proposal’ made by the Scottish Government without reference to COSLA
– Only the employer (COSLA) can make an offer – they have not (yet) done so
– COSLA Leaders, who would have to sign off any revised offer, does not meet until the 29th March
– We have asked COSLA for clarity on this proposal – how much money is being put in, whether it relates to cost of living increases or pay restructuring and what it would mean in terms of the total pay offer value – we understand the Scottish Government have not yet provided this information to COSLA
– We need, and will examine carefully this information when it is received, in order to assess whether the terms of the re-opener clause in our pay deal have been met
– Our Local Government Committee meets on Thursday and will consider our position further at that point
We will keep you abreast of developments
GMB ballot closed on the 28th of February and their members decided to accept the offer alongside UNISON and UNITE Craft Workers.
All Trade Unions met to discuss the offer and they have now all agreed to accept the COSLA 3 year pay deal.
UNISON have written to COSLA to inform them of the decision and we are hopeful that COSLA will inform the employers quickly enabling the HR/Payroll team to process the 2018 award and back pay for the March pay run.
We know that this has been a long process and we thank all members for their understanding.
Thank you also for your campaign activity – it has been through our collective effort that we have secured the best pay deal in local government in a decade.
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Clackmannanshire Council today voted to overturn a previous decision which would have cut the pay of staff who work evenings and weekends. UNISON has campaigned relentlessly for several years to stop Clackmannanshire Council from unfairly targeting those on low pay with cuts to terms and conditions.
After long running talks were successful in persuading the SNP Administration that the proposed cuts unfairly impacted upon the lowest paid staff, they put a motion to today’s Council meeting to reverse there previous decision.
The motion was supported by the Labour Party who had previously offered us their support in this regard.
Pam Robertson, UNISON branch secretary said “This is great news for our members and a victory for UNISON in our ongoing battle to protect low paid women from being unfairly targeted in budget cuts. The SNP administration and the Labour group should be praised for listening to our arguments and for doing the right thing. ”
UNISON Scotland’s local government members have overwhelmingly voted to reject their employer’s pay offer (CoSLA) of 3% for workers earning up to £80,000, and to move towards strike action in support of their claim for fair pay.
UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions – who have also run consultative ballots of their members – will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November.
Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON Scotland local government committee said: “UNISON members have overwhelmingly rejected the 3% pay offer. They do not think it is fair that the Scottish government found £38m extra to put into teachers’ pay, over and above their cost of living increase, but they have offered no additional money for low paid local government workers. UNISON will now meet other local government trade unions and employers tomorrow. If UNISON and other unions decide to move towards strike action the next step will be to hold a statutory industrial action ballot.”
Johanna Baxter, head of local government (bargaining) said: “What this result demonstrates is a real anger and frustration amongst UNISON members at the lack of action by CoSLA and the Scottish government to address the serious issue of low pay in local government. UNISON will talk to other local government trade unions on Friday to discuss further action and we will inform employers of the ballot results then. As the Scottish government prepare their budget we will put further pressure on them to make more money available to fund a decent pay rise for local government staff. Local government workers have endured a decade of real-terms pay cuts, and they have now simply had enough.”
UNISON will recommend that its local government members reject the latest revised pay offer from COSLA when they hold a consultative ballot of members in the next few weeks.
The final revised pay offer was made yesterday (6 September) by COSLA offering a 3% pay increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000. However after 8 months of campaigning and talks by UNISON, they will recommend rejection.
Carol Ball, vice chair of UNISON local government committee said: “UNISON has worked hard to get where we are, but this revised offer does very little for the lowest paid workers like care workers and support for learning assistants. These workers rightly feel they have taken the brunt of austerity over the last 10 years, with pay cuts and job losses. UNISON will continue to campaign on their behalf. A decade of pay cuts has left local government workers very angry. In the end our members make the decision and we will be balloting them to ask what they want to do.
“UNISON campaigns have made real progress. It is only through our action that we have seen the end to the public sector pay cap, we have got more money on the table from employers, and the employers have agreed that all local government workers should be treated equally. UNISON will continue the campaign for all our local government members, especially those on the lowest pay.”
The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLGPS) Advisory Board is consulting employers and trade unions on whether outcomes for the SLGPS can be improved by altering the structure of the funds. The consultation asks stakeholders to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the current structure against three options that, by degrees, consolidate the functions of the scheme’s 11 constituent funds by collaboration, pooling and merger.
This paper sets out UNISON Scotland’s interim position following our consultation with branches and pension champions. The final response will be agreed by the Scottish Committee in November.
To download the paper click here.
As part of this year’s pay campaign the Scottish Local Government Committee has agreed to move to the next phase focusing on education under the theme “It’s ONE team – we all deserve fair pay”.
During the month of June we will highlight the fact that education is delivered by a whole team and not solely by teachers. We are calling for fairness in pay and to remind John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Skills & Education, that in his negotiations he should consider whether or not it is fair to reward one part of the local government workforce whilst others continue to fall further behind.
UNISON have organised a postcard campaign for education workers and we are asking staff to actively participate in the fight for fair pay by filling in the cards for us to utilise in our discussions with the Scottish Government .and to emphasise that UNISON is the trade union for staff who support the delivery of education in Scotland.
Last year the Scottish Government, as part of the tri-partite negotiations for teachers, agreed a bigger increase than that given to other local authority workers. We understand that this could happen again this year and the message from UNISON is clear – our members cannot get less again.
Whilst this campaign is focused on education at this stage, it is part of our wider long-term strategy to achieve fairness for all local government workers.
Local Government branches across Scotland are co-ordinating the distribution and collection of postcards addressed to John Swinney. The postcards collected will be presented to the Cabinet Secretary at the end of June by delegates from across Scotland.
I would encourage all members to fully participate in pursuit of the fair pay we deserve.
You can read the latest Pension Bulletin here