Date: Thu 31 July 2008
Main local government union likely to announce vote for pay strike
The result of a ballot of 100,000 local government workers across
Scotland is likely to deliver a strong 'Yes' vote when it is announced
tomorrow, Scotland's local government union UNISON said today.
A meeting of its local government branches being held on Friday
will decide the union's next steps in the dispute over pay. The
ballot was called after Scotland's local council employers offered
a 2.5% rise each year for three years.
All three local council unions (UNISON, GMB and Unite (T&G)) rejected
the offer and both the GMB and Unite have announced 'Yes' votes
today. Tomorrow's result is likely to confirm the backing of the
The form of the industrial action will be decided in discussions
between the three unions over the next few days, but is likely to
comprise a day of all-out strike followed by selective action from
key sections of staff.
A UNISON spokesperson said "We fully expect that the ballot of
our members will deliver a strong vote in favour of action. Our
members are clear that they cannot afford another series of below
inflation pay increases. Yesterdays announcements of further major
hikes in heating bills will have confirmed the need for the employers
to seriously address the shortcomings in their offer. We are likely
to have a window of opportunity to see if we can avoid disruptive
strikes. I hope the employers take it."
UNISON's local government members in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland took strike action over a similar 2.45% offer on 16 and
17 July. The union has also announced that it intends to demand
reopening negotiations in the NHS over a three year deal which offers
similar rises (2.54% and 2.5%) in years two and three.
Notice for editors: 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. UNISON 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) Chris Bartter,
Communications Officer 07715 583 729(m)