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Tuesday 1 July 2008

Strike ballot starts for 100,000 Scottish Council staff

Ballot papers start to go out today (Tuesday), asking over 100,000 UNISON members working for Scotland's local councils if they are willing to strike in rejection of a 2.5% per year pay offer.

The ballot will include members working for Scotland's 32 local councils, local joint valuation boards and fire and rescue staff. It will be carried out over the month of July.

Members of the other two unions representing local council staff (GMB and Unite(T&G)) have also rejected the offer and will be balloting their members during July.

UNISON's local government members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted to take strike action over a similar 2.45% offer recently. The first strike action days there will be 16 and 17 July.

Dougie Black, UNISON Regional Organiser said "CoSLA have failed to respond to the rejection of their inadequate offer with anything meaningful to address our members concerns. In particular they have failed to tackle the issue that the offer increases the gap between the higher and lower paid. At the bottom end the offer means a mere 15p per hour increase in the first year.

"It is clear that UNISON members in Scotland need to deliver a clear 'YES' vote in the ballot to push Scottish employers into taking their concerns seriously."

UNISON and the other local government unions claimed an increase of 5% or £1,000 (whichever was the greater), from 1 April 2008. Scottish Local Councils have offered an increase of 2.5% a year for the next three years.

Notice for editors: The Ballot will start today (1 July) and close on the 31 July. Details of the strike action will then be decided. UNISONScotland organises local government staff in Scotland including social workers, housing staff, library workers, cleansing and environmental protection staff, technicians and trading standards workers, early years workers, cooks, cleaners and classroom assistants.

For further information please contact: Dougie Black, Regional Officer - Secretary, TU negotiators 07958 121 851(m) Stephanie Herd, Chair - TU negotiators 07989 544 162(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer 07715 583 729(m)