Date: 22 June 2005
CAREERS STAFF TO ESCALATE DISPUTE
CAREERS staff in Scotland are set to escalate a 14-week
dispute over performance related pay.
Scotland's public service union UNISON said today
that staff at Careers Scotland are dismayed that Scottish Enterprise
is continuing to impose a consolidated performance related pay scheme
which the union believes could discriminate against women.
Careers staff are also angered by the discriminatory
treatment of team leaders taking part in industrial action.
A series of meetings with members around Scotland
next week will consider escalating the dispute, which so far involves
workers refusing to take part in performance management reviews
and refusing to record client and customer details on the internal
The escalation follows Scottish Enterprise agreeing
to meet with UNISON and the conciliation service last week, but
then refusing to move from a 2.5% pay offer, well below other public
sector pay awards.
The majority of staff in the Careers Scotland business
unit have been participating in a programme of industrial action
On Thursday June 16 Scottish Enterprise responded
to our proposals on the previous pay offer with a compromise offer
for 2004-5 of 2.5% for all staff within the Careers Scotland business
UNISON rejected this on the grounds that more than
80% of the workforce would have been worse off financially if the
offer was accepted. UNISON also pointed out to SE that the 2.5%
offer was well below current public sector pay awards.
UNISON suggested the involvement of the ACAS conciliation
service. UNISON had offered to go to ACAS to resolve this dispute
on several occasions and were pleased on Thursday that SE agreed
to use the ACAS service.
On Friday 17 June a meeting was held with SE, UNISON
and ACAS at the Milton Hotel, Glasgow. UNISON outlined to the ACAS
conciliator our suggestions for a way forward to resolve the ongoing
industrial dispute and obtain a one year deal on pay for the year
2004-5. This proposal would, in UNISON's view, allow discussions
to start at an early stage between SE and UNISON regarding the future
pay system within Scottish Enterprise.
The conciliator met with the SE management team and
on his return to the UNISON team he reported that SE were not prepared
to move on their position as outlined at the meeting of June 16.
UNISON believes that SE's agreement to utilise ACAS
was a cynical exercise to enhance their public image but that they
had no real intention of actively participating in proper conciliation.
Following the meeting UNISON is left with no option
but to seek a view from the membership on escalating this dispute.
This will be done through a series of roadshows with members throughout
Scotland during the week starting Monday June 27.
James Corry, branch secretary (Scottish Enterprise
Careers and Development), said that UNISON is dismayed at Scottish
Enterprise's continued use of a pay system that benefits the few
to the detriment of the many.
He said: "Members are angry not only about the
derisory offer but also about the treatment of a group of our members
during our lawful trade dispute.
"Scottish Enterprise is insisting on reviewing
the performance of team leaders in the Careers service at the lowest
possible benchmark. This is because these team leaders have not
been reviewing the performance of their staff as part of the industrial
"Our membership feels that Scottish Enterprise
are penalising their colleagues at team leader level for taking
part in the programme of industrial action.
"This unfair assessment of team leaders takes
no account of their performance in all other aspects of their job
and could be viewed as victimisation of trade union members.
"We are keen to see a resolution to this dispute
and are available at any time should Scottish Enterprise be prepared
to enter meaningful discussions."
(Notes to the editor:
Careers Scotland became part of Scottish Enterprise
in April 2002. SE has operated this scheme with existing staff for
the last ten years but UNISON believes it has not been modernised
in keeping with recommendations in governmental reports.
These reports highlighted that consolidated performance
related pay systems were divisive, had a detrimental effect on staff
morale and leave themselves open to possible legal challenges as
the consolidated element can lead to inequalities in the pay of
women compared to their male counterparts.
Trade unions have worked with other employers in the
public sector to modernise their pay systems in line with governmental
recommendations and indeed under the previous chief executive of
SE, Robert Crawford, progress was being made in modernising Scottish
Enterprise's pay system in line with these recommendations. Agreement
Under the new Chief Executive Jack Perry's tenure
these discussions were abandoned and the employer continued with
their previous system for SE staff and imposed it on Careers Scotland
UNISON represents around 900 staff within Careers
Scotland - around 80-90% of the workforce.)
For further information please contact:
James Corry Branch Secretary. Tel:
Peter Veldon Regional Officer UNISON Tel: