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Date 27 February 2009

Enable staff in pay action ballot

UNISON members working for Enable, the charity that works with people with learning disabilities, are to be balloted on strike action over pay, their union UNISON today.

The ballot follows a 2 to 1 rejection of the employer's offer of a 300 rise for the lowest paid, plus a 100 non-consolidated payment; 2% for the second lowest grade of staff with 50 non consolidated payment and only 1.5% for the remaining staff.

Staff in Enable were due a pay rise from 1st October 2008, when inflation was running at 5%. Last year UNISON lodged a claim for an increase of 5% or 1000 whichever is the greater, an extra day's holiday and an end to a system that pays people differently for doing the same job. In December 2008 Enable finally made their offer.

Simon Macfarlane, Regional Organiser said "Our members are sick of receiving below inflation pay settlements from Enable and have clearly voted to reject this poor offer. These staff cannot continue to subsidise vital care and support to some of the most vulnerable in our community by poverty wages.

"This offer is simply unacceptable. It is clear from its overwhelming rejection that there is a level of anger and frustration amongst our members, even at a time of economic uncertainty. We are recommending they vote 'Yes' in this ballot. Our members don't want to take action that will impact on people with learning disabilities, but they will if Enable force them in to it. Enable must get back round the table and make a more serious offer."

The union says there are other issues at stake too. Members are annoyed that if you look after someone in Glasgow you get paid 6.67 an hour but if you look after someone in Bearsden you get paid 7.24, and urges an end to this geographical discrimination.

Simon MacFarlane said "UNISON knows the funding pressures there are on the voluntary sector, and we are calling on employers to join with us when we lobby the Scottish Parliament for fair funding for the sector on 17th March."

Ends

For Further Information Please Contact: Simon Macfarlane (Regional Organiser) 0870 7777 006 (w) 07703 194 132 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0870 7777 006(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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