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Date: 5 Feb 2008

Council allows discussions to fail - strike going ahead in Argyll and Bute

Discussions took place yesterday between UNISON, UNITE, and Argyll and Bute Council, over the ongoing Single Status dispute. Although some progress was made initially, and the Union side were ready and willing to continue these discussions, the Council were not prepared to proceed any further.

By the time the Council had terminated the talks, agreement had not been reached on sufficient of the matters under discussion for the Union side to call off the industrial action. UNISON are surprised and dismayed that the Council has squandered this opportunity to move towards a resolution of the dispute, but remain willing to engage in further discussions with the Council.

Information from earlier releases regarding the Industrial Action

The strike is to take place over the 5-7 February, and will affect services across the Council - closing offices and shutting down key transport links such as the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry (which docks at the Council staffed Dunoon Pier).

The action will also affect schools, home care services, libraries, roads maintenance, and many other key services in local communities. UNISON has agreed to exemptions covering Ferry Services, Piers, and the Standby Service for Winter Maintenance (gritting of roads, etc.) where the emergency services (e.g. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Medical) make a specific request.

There will be a major rally on the 7 February in the Queen's Hall, Dunoon at 12 noon. Strike action is also being taken by UNITE members in the Council on the same days.

For further details etc. please contact: Donald Brown, Branch Chairperson, Mobile Tel. No. 07770 308062. or Duncan Dewar, Communications Officer, Mobile Tel. No. 07717 686442.

Notes to Editors
Single Status is a national agreement at Scottish level to harmonise conditions of service and address pay equality issues between different categories of local government employees. It provides a framework, with many key details to be agreed (or in some cases imposed) at local level.

The Argyll and Bute Branch are working to achieve a fair local settlement for our members, in the face of Argyll and Bute Council's attempts to impose its proposals to the detriment of all employees.