UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date 20 March 2007

Local government workers raise equal pay and patchwork services as key issues for poll

UNISON, the union representing Scotland's local government staff is today launching its manifesto for the local government elections scheduled alongside the Scottish Elections on May 3. The union is to use the manifesto to lobby council candidates and is also providing questions for their members to ask council candidates.

The key issues that the union raises in the manifesto are the large costs expected to be incurred to deliver fair pay in local councils and an increasing trend to move services out of democratic control.

Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Convenor said "The Accounts Commission has recently recognised that equal pay is a massive problem for local councils - something that we have been arguing for some time. Councils have a responsibility to comply with equal pay law under best value. Whilst some councils have already funded these debts, the vast majority have not yet implemented equal pay."

The union also highlights concern about local control of services, as the government pressures councils to bring in efficiencies - leading to centralising services away from local control, and some council's attempts to rid themselves of services to new employers.

Mike Kirby said "Councils moving cultural and other services out to private trusts and, transferring housing stock out of public control, put barriers in the way of joined-up service provision and remove services from direct democratic control, as do PFI/PPP projects. Increases in the patchwork nature of service provision are also threatened by shared services of different types. We want to know from parties and candidates whether they back democratic accountability for services, or want to remove peoples' say in their services."

The manifesto -Revitalising our local services - is part of the union's campaign for Scotland's public services. It will be sent direct to all existing councillors, and also be used by local branches to help them campaign in the local elections.

A leaflet with a simple statement of key policies and suggested questions is also being produced. Click here for the leaflet

ENDS Note for Editors:- UNISON is Scotland's major local government union, representing well over 100,000 workers working for Scotland's local authorities. The Revitalise our local services manifesto is available on the UNISON website on

http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/revitalise where you can link to the Local Government Manifesto.

For Further Information Please Contact: Mike Kirby (Scottish Convenor) 07803 952 261(m) Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771 548 997 (m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)