Local govt members vote to accept two year pay offer
1 October 2015: Over 88% of Scottish local
government members voting in their pay ballot have
accepted a two year offer with a new Living Wage deal.
Staff will now get a 1.5% rise from 1 April 2015 and
1% from April 2016.
Importantly, the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.85 per hour will be put in place before the 1.5% rise, making it £7.97 an hour.
And in April 2016, the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended figure of the Living Wage Foundation, again before the 1% rise. There will also be talks on removing the pay points below the Living Wage level.
Negotiators succeeded in getting the initial offer of two years at 1.25% front-loaded to 1.5% in 2015 which is above inflation and slightly increases the value of the 1% in 2016. In August inflation was 0.0% on the Consumer Prices Index and 1.1% on the Retail Prices Index.
A full briefing will go out to UNISON branches tomorrow.
Pay offer made - ballot starts 2 September. Make sure
1.5% this year, 1% next year and new deal
on Living Wage
28 August 2015: UNISON and the other SJC
trade unions have been in negotiations with the Scottish
Employers for a number of months on the issue of pay.
We submitted a claim in November last year, the headline
of which was an increase of £1 per hour. Unfortunately
we were unable to convince the employers to make a
flat rate increase in this pay round. It was also
the case that the employers were prepared to offer
an increased ‘pot of money’ if the trade
unions were able to agree to a two year pay settlement.
That being the case the final offer from the employers
is as follows;
· A pay agreement which covers the period
from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2017
· 2015 -2016. As of 1st April 2015, the Scottish
Local Government Living Wage of £7.85ph will
be applied, following which there will be an increase
of 1.5% on all spinal column points. This would achieve
a Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.97ph
· 2016 – 2017. As of 1st April 2016,
the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended
figure of the Living Wage Foundation, following which
there will be an increase of 1% on all spinal column
· A commitment from the employers to examine
the feasibility of a ‘flat rate’ settlement
in future pay rounds subject to the trade unions making
such a claim.
The Scottish Local Government Committee have carefully
considered this offer and whilst they recognise that
it does not meet the terms of our claim, it is their
view that further negotiations will not improve this
offer. It is also noted that the employers have committed
to discussions with the trade unions commencing in
September 2015, regarding the full consolidation of
the living wage and the deletion of spinal column
points below the level of the living wage
It is therefore their view that this offer
is the best that can be achieved by negotiation and
that the recommendation to members is to ACCEPT.
A full consultation with members will now take place.
This will be in the form of a consultative ballot
sent to members' home addresses. The ballot will open
on 3rd September and close at 12 noon on 25th September
2015. Members are urged to vote in this ballot so
we get a clear view from you on the offer.
Any member who does not receive a ballot paper please
email the following address before 22nd September.
24 June 2015: Scottish Council Leaders (the CoSLA ones that is) were due to meet on Friday. It was hoped that a 'final' offer would have been received from the Scottish employers before then. However no such offer was received. Hopefully the leaders found time to discuss Fair Pay for their hard working employees.
16 June 2015: Negotiations with the Scottish employers continued last week. A final offer was not determined. The employers are still sticking to the 2.5% over two years proposal whilst the union side are pressing for more.
Between these two positions we are asking for consideration of 'front loading' of the offer. This means that if it is 2.5% then we would like to see the first year being greater, eg instead of it being 1.25% in each year it would be better for workers if it was 1.5% this year and 1% next year.
We are also looking at further advance on the Living Wage and confirmation that the employers will agree to uprate this each year, at least, in line with the Living Wage Foundation decisions each year.
Further discussions will take place on the 23 June with a final offer either then or the following week. Unions will then consult members on the offer.
Pay offer rejected and revised offer made
3 April 2015: The Scottish Local Government
employers (Cosla) have presented an offer of 1% pay
rise from April 1st. The unions rejected this. A revised
offer of a 2 year deal of 2.5% (probably 1.25% each
year) has now been received.
Cosla noted that Councils are having their budgets
cut and that inflation is at 0%. The unions noted
that after years of below inflation rises or freezes
pay had dropped in real terms by nearly 15% and that
the offer does not meet our claim of a £1 an
Cosla were asked by the unions to see if the offer
could be increased and that we wanted a flat rate
rather than a percentage.
Cosla are now considering this and a further meeting
is to take place towards the end of April.
SCOTTISH JOINT COUNCIL
TRADE UNION SIDE
TRADE UNION SIDE PAY CLAIM 2015/16
The Trade Union Side of the Scottish Joint Council
submit to the Annual Meeting of the SJC the following
Pay Claim for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March
1. A settlement that runs for a period of one year
with effect from 1 April 2015
2. £1 per hour for all employees on all spinal
3. Full consolidation of the Living Wage on an ongoing
basis in line with recommendations made by the Living
Wage Foundation and also applicable to local authority
procurement in the award of contracts.
4. Early deletion of spinal column points below the
level of the Living Wage.
Recent developments regarding consolidation mark
real progress towards the Living Wage being the entry
point on pay in Local Government. The Trade Union
Side welcome the commitment to delete spinal column
points below that level, however this now needs to
be translated into actual commitments backed up by
a Joint Secretaries Circular.
This claim is set in the context of a seventh consecutive
year of decline in the value of wages, the longest
such decline ever recorded, combined with a diminishing
workforce within local government with our members
being expected to continue to deliver high quality
public services with diminishing resources. Over 39,000
jobs have been lost in local government in Scotland
in Scotland since 2007 with a further 3,000-4,000
expected to be cut in the next two years. Job security
is a major issue for all of our members, the current
climate creates great uncertainty and does not allow
for any future planning. No redundancy agreements
are in place in some local authorities, however consideration
requires to be given as to how the SJC can alleviate
these concerns and strengthen job security going forward.
Whilst pay over the last five years has been virtually
static, price increases impacting at greater levels
than headline inflation figures have led to a considerable
drop in living standards. Over this period the gap
has grown to 14%. Inflation as experienced by individuals
can be markedly different. This has tended to be the
case, particularly for low paid workers in recent
years. Spending on necessities makes up a greater
share of the available income of the low paid than
it does the better off. In the era of austerity the
rate of inflation has often raced ahead of indexed
inflation. The Office of National Statistics data
shows that food has mostly been increasing in price
faster than indexed inflation for the last three years
and the price of gas and electricity has always been
ahead of average inflation. It’s a similar story
for housing costs. Since 2007 the average rent for
a council house has increased by 26%. In the same
time the wages of a local council worker have increased
by 8.3%. In addition RPI is expected to rise during
the course of 2015 to over 3%.
The recent development from the employers to fully
commit to paying the Living Wage is welcome. A mechanism
now needs to be found to apply the outcomes of the
Living Wage Foundation on an ongoing basis. Only 6
local authorities apply the living wage as the bottom
point of their pay scales leaving 26 authorities paying
the living wage rate in the form of a supplement with
two of the 26 using allowances to offset the level
of the supplement.
The Trade Union Side view the deletion of the spinal
column points beneath the level of the living wage
as being crucial to Scottish Local Authorities being
able to claim that they are Living Wage employers.
The recent agreement with CoSLA commits to achieving
this in a period of up to 3 years. It is the view
of the Trade Union Side that this period can be shortened
and that to do so requires both sides of the SJC to
fully explore and understand what barriers there are
to overcome. It is also our view that we seek to negotiate
a mechanism to ensure that the Living Wage becomes
the minimum rate applicable through procurement when
local authorities are awarding contracts.
The SJC Trade Unions are of the view that previous
settlements in local government in Scotland have not
maintained our members pay in comparison to inflationary
movements. We do welcome the progress made in applying
the Living Wage to local authorities in Scotland and
our claim this year seeks to build on that and sustain
it going forward. We also welcome the commitment and
share the commitment to ensure that joint negotiation
and consultation through the bargaining machinery
will apply in all aspects of our relationship in seeking
a negotiated settlement.
The Trade Unions now seek the Scottish Employers