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Fri 3 Jan 2003

UNISON welcomes 4% pay rise for Scotland's local government workers in 2003

Scotland's largest local government union today welcomed the final part of the four-year pay deal that settled the bitter five-month local government pay dispute in 2001, after a series of one-day and indefinite selective action by UNISON members.

The last annual settlement of 4% is due to be paid later this year, and work will begin to draw up a claim for future pay.

UNISON's Scottish Organiser for local government, Joe Di Paola said "As the years have moved on, it has become clearer what a very good deal UNISON members won in 2001. They took the first step to tackle low pay in local services with last year's £500 rise. That took the lowest wage above £5 per hour for the first time, and now the final piece of the jigsaw is due to fit into place. The 4% rate form April this year will take the lowest paid of Scotland's local service providers above £10,000 a year (or £5.20+ an hour) for the first time."

The four-year deal negotiated in guaranteed inflation-plus pay awards giving an average 14.1% increase to Scottish Council staff for the years 2000 -2004. The overall pay rises ranged from 16.37% at the bottom of the scales to 11.29% at the top.

The union, who represent two-thirds of Scottish local government workers, was claiming 5% or £500 for 2000's pay rise, plus a minimum wage of £5 per hour. They rejected both CoSLA's original 2.5% offer and a new 6.1% two-year deal, during the course of a dispute that lasted over 5 months in 2000-2001.

Once the 4% has been paid, the union will start work drawing up a claim for future pay settlements. Joe Di Paola said "Whilst this was a good deal we cannot be complacent. We are only too aware of the problems that local councils are having attracting staff in many services. Fair and attractive pay can play its part in delivering the resources needed to provide the service that Scotland deserves."


Note: UNISONScotland is Scotland's largest local government trade union with around 150,000 members, approximately two thirds of whom are women.

For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish Org - Local Government)07990 505698 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)