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Date 2 December 2006

UNISON to back Falkirk Council staff facing dismissal

UNISON, Scotland's public service union, will today discuss giving backing to nearly 3,000 staff at Falkirk Council who face dismissal and re-engagement in a dispute over the council's attempts to impose their new terms and conditions.

UNISON's Falkirk Council Branch will ask the union's Scottish Council to back a motion calling for support for the staff''s fight. The branch is organising a demonstration in Falkirk on the 16 December and is currently balloting staff for industrial action. The dispute has arisen after Falkirk Council brought single status discussions with trade unions to an end and issued 2892 dismissal notices in order to impose their proposals.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary, said "UNISON is totally opposed to the unilateral imposition of single status. I am sure that todays meeting will back the staff facing this unilateral attack. Falkirk are the first council to attempt to bludgeon their way through these difficult negotiations. If they do not drop these proposals and come back to the negotiating table it may serve as a signal for other rogue councils.

Gray Allan, UNISON's Falkirk Branch Secretary said "Staff should not be forced to choose between a cut in wages and conditions or no job in order to pay for Single Status. UNISON members fully support equal pay but this will not be achieved by cutting the pay of low paid workers. I am confident that our colleagues in other councils throughout Scotland will see this as an opportunity to focus their opposition to the unilateral imposition of single status by Scottish local authorities."

UNISON's Scottish Council, which consists of representatives from all Scottish Branches covering UNISON's 160,000 plus Scottish members meets at the Marriott Hotel, Argyle Street Glasgow, on Saturday 2 December from 10.00am to 1.00pm. Please contact Chris Bartter, (below) for interviews, photos, filming etc.

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith(Scottish Secretary) 0845 355 0845(w) 07771 548 997(m) Gray Allan (Falkirk Branch Secretary) 07710 528 533(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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