UNISON Scotland Local Government May 2012
The Scottish Local Government Conference newly elected in April
met in mid May at its Annual Policy Seminar.
Over the two days the committee was set the task of considering
the key issues facing Local Government and setting the 2012 workplace
to reflect what needs to be done in relation to developing our
responses, strengthen our relationships across UNISON service
groups and building on campaigning activities.
Scotland's Political Landscape
Our seminar started off setting aside time to consider the new
political make up of each of the local Councils in Scotland. What
this might mean for our engagement with local politicians, what
are the focus points for our discussion with new administrations.
What is your vision for this council and how it delivers quality
What is your commitment to the local economy in terms of sustaining
Do you support our position of no compulsory redundancies?
Do you support our view that quality public services can be
delivered by in house teams?
Do you support our Fair Pay Claim - to introduce Scottish
Living Wage, to reduce low pay in Local Government by paying £250
as a minimum to those earning £21K and under?
How do we work together to achieve the above?
Joint Trade Union Pay Claim 2012
joint trade unions GMB, Unite and UNISON submitted our pay claim
to the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) Scottish Employers on 8 May
2012. We already know the Scottish Employers are not willing to
consider a claim for this year.
We have laid out the reasons why we believe our claim is fair
UNISON members are feeling the effects of what is a real term
pay cut over a number of years. We are significantly worse off
as inflation remains high and the cost of living soars.
The joint TUs (UNISON GMB and Unite) already have established
a Joint Campaign Group. Our committee has committed to building
a strong campaign plan to encourage participation amongst Branch
Activists and members, details have been circulated to Branch
Work had already begun in the run up to local elections and we
continue to develop and provide materials to our branches.
Branch Secretaries and Pay Champions are invited to develop the
Campaign at the forthcoming meeting on 6 June - Edinburgh.
Materials for Branches and members are currently being produced
for our "Fair Pay Campaign".
We received a presentation on Procurement with the Scottish Living
Wage from colleagues in Community & Voluntary Sector. We require
legal advice on legislative changes that may be required. However
we are committed to the principle of fair level playing field
for colleagues providing services in Community & Voluntary Sector
or where outsourcing goes ahead that contracts should include
Scottish living wage.
Health & Social Care Integration
The Local Government Committee acknowledges the necessity to
develop stronger links with UNISON colleagues in Health and Community
& Voluntary Branches.
On a Scottish basis we meet regularly to discuss some of the
big issues for our members and models for service delivery. Local
Government members are encouraged to take part in a joint Health,
Community & Voluntary and Local Government seminar taking place
on 26 June 2012.
The Future of Scottish Local Government - Radically Local-
the committee received a thought provoking insight from Peter
McColl - Rector Edinburgh University and previously Local Government
Policy Officer SCVO.
His input allowed the committee to consider potential innovations,
planting the positive seeds needed to invigorate local government
to find new areas for growth and to be used as a vehicle for creative
ways to tackle big issues - unemployment, economic recovery, fairness
and equality. Food for thought - and hopefully no heartburn!