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Thursday 3 March 2005

Action threat by Careers staff over imposition of unfair pay system

Members of UNISON, Scotland's public service union, employed in Scottish Enterprise are planning industrial action short of strike following the imposition of a performance related pay scheme that the union believes is out of date and favours senior managers.

The union is currently balloting its members in Careers Scotland, where they have 85% of the staff in membership.

Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, "The imposition of this unfair and unequal scheme onto over 1100 staff in the middle of pay talks was crass, hard nosed and destroyed the good work that had been done in creating Careers Scotland. Scottish Enterprise has imposed a pay structure that in 2003 saw 71% of Senior Directors awarded with a bonus of 2.5% - on average around £1400 - on top of a 4.1% pay increase, whilst only 12% of Admin staff received a bonus. Despite this glaring unfairness and inequality being pointed out by UNISON, Jack Perry continues to ignore the fact that the pay system he has imposed is out of date and runs against the thrust of a number of reviews into civil service pay."

Matt added, "At a time when other agencies such as Scottish Courts Service, Scottish Executive and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have moved significantly towards new and fair methods of distributing pay, Perry and his Senior Directors stick rigidly to a pay formula that benefits them and no one else. "

On the prospect of further talks Matt said, "Of course UNISON is prepared to talk to the employer - as we were doing before this unilateral move - but they need first of all to take a step back, and come to the table with no predetermined view other than the will and desire to create a fair pay system for all SE staff, like most other public service agencies."


[Notes to the Editor - Careers Scotland became part of Scottish Enterprise in April 2002 bringing together 67 separate careers bodies across Scotland. The ballot result is due to be announced next week)

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin (Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845(w) 07946 339 036(m Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)