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
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
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)