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Date: Monday 1 September 2008

Further action "inevitable” over council pay following CoSLA failure to improve offer

UNISON, the largest union representing over 100,000 council staff in Scotland has reacted with "bitter disappointment” at the failure of the local government employers body CoSLA to improve the rejected pay offer which led to strike action last month.

"Further action is now inevitable,” said Stephanie Herd, Chairperson of UNISON's Local Government Service Group. UNISON along with the other trade unions involved in the pay dispute, Unite and GMB, met with the employers (COSLA) today (Monday 1 September) to continue talks on this years pay settlement. Regrettably the meeting broke up with no new offer being made.

The only concession being made by the employers is to make their offer of 2.5% effective for one year instead of the three previously offered.

Dougie Black, UNISON Regional Officer and Secretary to the Trade Union Negotiators said: "Whilst we are pleased that our day of action forced the employer back to the negotiating table and they retracted the three year element of their final offer, we are bitterly disappointed and angry that the value of the offer has not been improved. The employers publicly stated that they required to look at a settlement that took account of the rises in inflation and to subsequently make no new offer is disingenuous on their part.”

Stephanie Herd, Chairperson of UNISON's Local Government Service Group said: "Our members will be extremely angry at the way their employers are treating them. Many of our members are amongst the lowest paid in the public sector and to give indications that the offer would be improved and then subsequently not will simply strengthen their resolve in pursuing a better offer. Further action is now inevitable and we will be talking to our fellow trade unions to pursue this.”


Notes to editors: UNISON is Scotland's largest local council union, with around 100,000 members in local government. Other unions involved in the dispute are the GMB and Unite. UNISON Scotland will discuss further action at the union's Local Government Conference in Glasgow on Friday (5 September 2008). Around 150,000 council workers in all three unions took part in a 24 hour stoppage during the Day of Action for fair pay on Wednesday August 20, following which the employers indicated that they would engage in talks over an improved offer.

For Further Information Please Contact: Dougie Black (Regional Organiser) 07958 121 851 (m) Stephanie Herd (Chair - Scottish Local Government Group) 07989 544 162(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) is currently on leave - contact Malcolm Burns 0141 342 2811 or Fiona Montgomery 0141 342 2852 in his absence




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