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Date 15 August

Scotland's local service providers to strike on 20 Aug

Around 100,000 UNISON members working for Scotland's local councils will strike on Wednesday 20 August. Members of the largest council union, and colleagues from GMB and Unite unions have all voted to down tools as part of the campaign against the below-inflation pay offer made by the councils.

The 24 hour stoppage will affect all council services. Schools, cleansing and environmental protection, housing, leisure and recreation services, home care and residential care, libraries, etc. will all be disrupted as around 200,000 staff take action across Scotland.

Stephanie Herd, chair of UNISON's Scottish local government service group, said "Our members do not want to have to take strike action. They want to do what they do best - provide vital services to the people of Scotland. We apologise for any disruption to those services, and we hope the public knows that our members need to be treated fairly. However, they are angry that the employers want to lock them into 2.5% increases for the next three years, while inflation is way ahead of that already and set to continue rising. The 2.5% pay offer is already a pay cut. Food is up 6%, transport 7%, mortgages 8%, electricity and only recently gas up by an additional 35%. Pay in the private sector is rising by 4%."

Branch members will be picketing workplaces across Scotland and UNISON is organising a series of demonstrations and rallies at different venues across Scotland.(see list below).

UNISON's UK General Secretary, Dave Prentis will be in Scotland undertaking some of these events, and visiting picket lines.

Members will be staffing picket lines and holding rallies across Scotland. An adtrailer with a message about the strike will be unveiled in Edinburgh and travel round the city during the morning, before moving off to Dundee, for a lunchtime rally.

A major Rally will take place in Glasgow in George Square from 12.30pm - Dave Prentis will address this rally. Other rallies and demonstrations will be taking place in Paisley, Inverness, Motherwell, Dundee, Inverurie (see attached list which will be updated regularly on-line).

UNISON dismisses employers' claims that they can't afford a decent rise. Dougie Black, Regional Officer and secretary of the TU negotiators, said "The employers say that they can't afford a better rise. But they agreed that they didn't need to raise council tax, and they have saved £170 million over the last year in efficiency savings - efficiencies that have been delivered by our members. They also have at least £100million in unallocated reserves. It is time for members to share in the savings that they have made."


Note for editors - list of events currently organised follows. Please contact us for updates and interviews or check the website - www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2008

EDINBURGH 07:15 - 08:00 - General Secretary to join pickets outside City of Edinburgh HQ City of Edinburgh Council HQ, Waverly Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG - Launch advertising of advertising trailer highlighting the action.

PAISLEY 10:30am - 11:15am - March and Rally, Brodie Park to County Square. Speakers: Mike Kirby Scottish Convenor UNISON, Mark Ferguson Renfrewshire UNISON. Other speakers to be announced Joint union balloon release at 11:15am

INVERURIE 10.30 a.m. at British Legion Club, Victoria Buildings, Blackhall Road, Inverurie Speakers Dougie Black - Lead TU Negotiator, Bob Revie - Aberdeenshire UNISON

MOTHERWELL 10.30am Joint rally with GMB/UNITE in the morning, at the Civic Centre in Motherwell. Picket lines will be mounted at certain key workplaces including the Civic Centre, Education HQ in Coatbridge and Coates House, Social Work HQ.

DUNDEE 12 Noon - 1:00pm - Joint Union Rally at City Square. Speakers: Rory Malone UNISON, Richard Whyte Unite, John Begley GMB. Other speakers to be announced.

INVERNESS 11.00am - Joint union rally outside Inverness Castle with balloon launch. Speakers to be announced.

GLASGOW 12.30 pm - 2:00pm - Rally at George Square. Speakers to be confirmed - will include Dave Prentis - UNISONGeneral Secretary

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)