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.
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
Clackmannanshire’s Joint Trade Union Committee will be hosting an event at the memorial stone in front of Kilncraigs at 10:30am on Friday the 27th of April.
Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.
Workers’ Memorial Day is held on or near the 28th April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day. The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”. In 2018 the theme for the day is “unionised workplaces are safer workplaces!”
It’s no secret – workplaces where there are active trade union safety reps are twice as safe as those without. In workplaces where staff are not valued, they are more likely to get injured, become ill, get disabled, have their working lives cut short, or sometimes die. Low pay, long or irregular hours, and poor health and safety all have a massive impact. That is why International Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remind ourselves of the importance of health and safety and trade unions, as we remember the dead and continue to fight for the living.
This years speakers will include:
JTUC Chair — Andy Kane
Council Provost — Tina Murphy
Depute CEO – Nikki Bridle
UNITE — Mark Lyon
Families Against Corporate
Killing— Louise Taggart
H&S Officer — Hazel Lovatt
MP – Luke Graham
Please click on the link below to read our latest newsletter
We have the decision.
SNP Councillors have sold out workers and voted through their budget with the cuts to our terms and conditions intact. We had hoped that common sense and decency would prevail and that no further action on our part would be required, however this has proved not to be the case. We will be contacting the Scottish Government and our elected politicians to express our utter contempt for this decision and on our intention to respond. We still hope to avoid an all out strike and we will use every other means of industrial action open to us first if council officers proceed with the firing and re-hiring of all staff. However we do need to be prepared to take steps to protect all of our jobs and all of our terms and conditions.
This decision may effect you directly today, and if it does you’ll lose thousands of pounds of pay and pensions over the remainder of your working careers. However if it does not, please recognise that the last barrier to working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all at straight time is about to be removed. We promise you that this will effect you in the future.
If you receive a ballot asking you to support Industrial Action it is ‘imperative’ that you return that ballot paper, no matter how you decide to vote. We would of course rather you vote Yes to protect yourselves and your colleagues however a low return of ballot papers will mean that this council can do what it likes to it’s workforce because it will know that it won’t have to face any consequences for their actions. If you do nothing else, please, return the ballot paper by post as soon as you receive it.
We will be posting updates to the website and on facebook as the situation develops. We would urge all members to check back regularly to keep themselves up to date on these events.
On Thursday the 8th of March Clackmannanshire Council will be sitting to agree next years budget. This years cuts are some of the worst we have ever seen and the removal of our terms and conditions are included in the paperwork. It seems unthinkable that SNP councillors would vote through proposals that they know will mean the firing of their entire workforce in order to reduce the wage bill, however it would appear that they may actually be prepared to vote this through.
This week we will be contacting all Elected Members to remind them of our opposition to forcing a change to the terms and conditions of staff, in addition we will be hosting a protest between 8.30 and 10.30 outside of Kilncraigs to make sure Elected Members get the message. We would encourage all of our members to take part where possible, by coming in a little earlier or starting their working day a little later. Better to lose a little of our own time now than suffer cuts to our wages or forced changes to our working hours in the future. So, if you can join us please do so and remember that it must be in your own time.
If these proposals are voted through without amendment on Thursday then Council Officers will move quickly in order to serve notice of the ending of our current contracts and the implementation of new ones. So we must be ready to move quickly too. We have therefore started preparations for a ballot on industrial action. We hope that this will not be needed but if it is then we must be prepared to take a stand against those seeking to do us harm, and make no mistake, for those facing a serious reduction in take home pay and pension, this will do great harm.
Our message is clear, we will not lie down and meekly allow Councillors to punish the hard working staff of Clackmannanshire Council because of the failures of management and councillors to run an efficient local authority in the past. It is not the staff who were responsible for costly hair brained schemes like Shared Services or for hiring expensive consultants at the drop of every hat. They did not create the financial difficulty that our organisation is now in, so they should not be the ones to pay the price now that the chickens are coming home to roost.
We hope to see many of you on Thursday.