Date: Thurs 17 Jan
Fair pay essential to delivery of local council services - UNISON
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, the leader of the UK (and
Scotland's) largest public sector union, will today (Thursday 17)
reject a 2% pay limit for public sector workers, calling it a "real
pay cut" and warning government of the dangers of holding down public
He will say: "I've got a message for government - don't pick a
fight with UNISON members. A 2% pay limit is just not on - it means
a real pay cut for millions of hard-working public service workers.
If you want first class public services, if you want the sick and
elderly cared for, your children well-educated and protected and
your streets clean and safe, cutting the pay of public sector workers
is the wrong way to go about it.
"We are determined to secure decent pay rises for our members.
With fuel and living costs rising fast, and public sector pay settlements
in recent years below inflation, many public service workers are
finding it incredibly hard to make ends meet and morale is at rock
bottom. "It is wrong to put inflation at their door. Instead, look
no further than the multi-nationals bleeding our public services
dry, the fuel price hikes and the massive profits made by big business.
The gap between public sector pay packets and burgeoning living
expenses must be bridged.
"Our recent pay claims are for one year deals, designed to make
up lost ground, protect against future inflation and boost the minimum
The union has submitted pay claims for local government workers
in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK calling for rises of 5% and
6% respectively and both have as a key element increases to provide
low paid members with a living wage. (Flat rate claims of 50p an
hour or £1,000 per year respectively).
Dave Prentis is in Scotland to officially open Renfrewshire Local
Authority Branch's new offices at Sir James Clark Building, Abbeymill
Business Centre, Seedhill, Paisley on Thursday 17 January 2008 at
3.00pm. During the course of his visit he will be guest of Provost
Celia Lawson at a Civic Reception to be hosted at the Renfrewshire
Following this, he will visit members at the Council's Customer
Service Centre and the Montrose Elderly Care Home. This will be
the General Secretary's first visit to Scotland since the change
in the political landscape both in Scotland and in Renfrewshire.
Meeting local politicians and council officers will afford the General
Secretary the opportunity to discuss local issues impacting on UNISON
members and to provide an overview of the union's priorities in
To mark the opening of our new branch office, the General Secretary
will address stewards and officers and present a donation to the
local hospices, St Vincent's and Accord.
For Further Information Please Contact: Mary Maguire (Head
of Press and Broadcasting) 07771 548 957(m) Mark Ferguson, UNISON
Renfrewshire Branch Secretary. 0141 847 1687 or 0777 334 2570(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)