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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date: Mon 18 February 2008

Scotland's local government unions reject three-year pay offer

UNISON, the largest union representing over100,000 Local Government staff in Scotland has rejected a three-year pay offer from CoSLA, the Local Government employers, it was announced today.

The claim has also been rejected by the other two local government trade unions. The unions had submitted a pay claim looking for a rise of £1,000 or 5% in 2008 last November. CoSLA responded last week with an offer spanning three years, proposing rises of 2.2% in 2008, 2.3% in 2009 and a further 2.2% in 2010. The meeting didn't agree any improvements to the offer, despite its rejection by the unions.

Dougie Black, UNISON Regional Officer and secretary to the trade union negotiators said: "This level of offer is unacceptable to local government staff. It doesn't approach the current rate of inflation, let alone begin to catch up the loss staff have suffered over recent years and it skews the pay scales, increasing the gap between higher and lower paid - for our lowest paid workers the increase after 3 years would be 42p! This is already a pay cut, and it doesn't even have a reopener clause, should inflation increase over the three years. "

Recent deals CoSLA have reached with Scotland's teachers gave higher pay rises (2.25%, 2.5% and 2.4% over three years), and many councils have already budgeted for higher pay settlements in 2008. UNISON is now calling on its members in Local Government to put pressure on their employers to increase the offer at the next negotiating meeting on 3 March.

Stephanie Herd, Chair of UNISON's Scottish Local Government Committee said; "We now need to bring home to councillors that our members are serious about this offer being unacceptable. CoSLA have said they want to make 'efficiency savings so they can reinvest these in services. One of those investments should be in the workforce that delivers these services. 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."


Notes for Editors:

1) There are around 220,000 local government staff in Scotland.

2) The three unions representing Scotland's local government staff are UNISON, Unite, and the GMB.

3) The next negotiations in Scotland are scheduled for 3 March 2008

4) The union has also submitted pay claims for local government workers elsewhere in the UK calling for a similar rise. Both have as a key element, increases to provide low paid members with a living wage. (Flat rate claims of £1,000 per year (in Scotland) or 50p an hour (elsewhere).

For Further Information Please Contact: Dougie Black - Secretary TU side 07958 121 851 (m) Chris Bartter - Communications Officer (UNISON) 07715 583 729 (m)