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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date 23 November 2005

Local government funding must deliver equal pay - UNISON

UNISON, Scotland's local government union, warned that the settlement for Scottish Local Government 2006-7 announced today by Tom McCabe MSP would fall short of delivering the money needed to deliver the front line services the Executive wants, and would not be sufficient to pay the cost of delivering equal pay across the sector.

The union - with over 100,000 Scottish local government members - pointed out: - this amount reflected a much lower increase than that given to the other, parts of Scotland's public sector - it will not even pay for the increased demands that the Executive continues to heap on local councils - unlike in other public sector employers - the Executive is not funding the legal requirement to deliver equal pay and compensation for local government staff, and - again uniquely, local government has had 'efficiency savings' cut from their budgets in advance, affording no opportunity to plan or redirect this money into front-line service.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "This settlement will not address the gap in funding between the small increases given to Scottish local government for 2005-8 and much larger increases given to the NHS and Higher Education. Any increase is better than none, but this seems to ignore both the many increased legislative responsibilities given to local government recently, as well as the legal need for local authorities to deliver on equal pay and compensate low-paid women for past discrimination.

"It is unfair to have equal pay in some public services funded by central government whilst others have to balance cuts in jobs and services and increases in council tax to give low-paid women what they are due. We will be continuing our campaign to get the Scottish Executive to fund the delivery of modern, equality-proofed pay in order to close the gap for women in public services across Scotland."