Date: 11 December 2007
Don't sign up to reduced conditions - Council staff told
Staff at East Lothian Council are being urged not to sign up to
a new package of pay and conditions intended to deliver a single
pay structure across the council, when these are offered to them
in January by the council.
UNISON, the council staff trade union, has rejected the new pay
and grading model proposed by the council today, which it says,
has elements in it that have not been discussed with the unions,
and the package as a whole has not been assessed for equality impact.
The union suspects that the council will put pressure on staff
to sign what it says is one of the worst packages in Scotland, by
claiming that services will have to be cut, if this is not agreed.
The council agreed to take the new proposals, which also propose
cutting weekend working payments, and moving to a seven day working
week, to the staff directly, ignoring their representatives' objections.
The results of a voluntary sign-up period of two weeks in January
will be assessed in February.
Sandra Kennie, Secretary of UNISON's East Lothian Council branch,
said "Many of the elements in this new package - like stopping some
staff reaching the top of their grades - have not been discussed
with the unions. Neither has this package been equality impact assessed
- which is bizarre as one of the aims of single status is to equality-proof
the council's pay structure. Staff should be clear that this is
one of the worst packages proposed to council staff throughout Scotland,
and not sign away their conditions under pressure."
The union wants the council to sit back down at the table to fully
negotiate the detail of the package. Sandra says "If the council
see a problem in affording a decent package of conditions, then
the proper way to deal with it is to be open and honest with the
staff's representatives and try and discuss and negotiate a proper
agreement, not to try and pressurise staff individually."
For Further Information Please Contact: Sandra Kennie (Branch
Secretary) 01620 822 699(o) 07929 736 511(m) Robert Rae (Regional
Officer) 07904 342 311(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer)
0870 7777 006(w) 0771 558 3729(m)