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Date: Wed 9 April 2008

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

Three unions representing Scotland's Local Government workers (UNISON, GMB and Unite (T&G)) have rejected a three-year pay offer from CoSLA, the Local Government employers, it was announced today.

The CoSLA offer given in early March, spanned three years, proposing rises of 2.5% in 2008, 2.5% in 2009 and a further 2.5% in 2010. The trade unions have been taking soundings from their members on this offer. The unions submitted a pay claim looking for a rise of £1,000 or 5% in 2008, last November.

Trade union side secretary Dougie Black of UNISON Scotland said: "All three trade unions have rejected the employers offer. There is a great deal of anger at the employers insistence on a 3 year deal and their continuing refusal to agree a reopener clause linked to inflation. The offer is already less than inflation, and without a re-opener clause our members are being asked to buy a pig in a poke."

Alec McLuckie, Senior Organiser of GMB Scotland said: "Clearly rejection of this offer places us on a course for industrial action, and all three trade unions recognise the need to coordinate a joint campaign supported by campaigning materials and briefings outlining our concerns with the offer."

Jimmy Farrelly, Senior Organiser of Unite (T&G Scottish section) said: "The offer 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 is around 50p! This is effectively a pay cut."

The unions will now call on their members in Local Government to reject the employers offer in a full consultation.

Dougie Black said: "Councillors should be aware that our members are serious about this offer being unacceptable. CoSLA have said they want to make 'efficiency savings so they can reinvest 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 unions have 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 & UNISON 07958 121 851 (m) Alec McLuckie - GMB 07885 348269 (m) Jimmy Farrelly - UNITE (T&G) 07810 157903 (m)