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Date: Friday May 15 2009

Shetland's biggest union backs pay offer

Members of UNISON, Shetland’s biggest union, overwhelmingly voted to accept Shetland Islands Council’s Single Status pay offer. 923 ballot papers were issued and 465 were returned (50%). Of these 419 were to accept (90%) and 45 were to reject (10%) There was one spoilt paper.

Commenting on the result Brian Smith, UNISON Branch Chair stated “This is great news for low paid women in Shetland, many of whom will receive substantial pay rises and compensation for being underpaid in the past. The council has invested heavily in the new pay scheme with the result that the pay gap between women and men has been narrowed. It has been a long slog but we are delighted to have achieved this outcome with the overwhelming support of members” Brian added

“In 2007, the council put forward an appalling offer to staff. It didn’t deliver equality for women and more than 1000 people were going to lose money. It was thanks to the members of UNISON campaigning that this vastly improved offer was issued. Whilst it is still is regrettable that anyone is going to lose money the scale and the extent of this loss has been greatly reduced and we have a salary protection scheme to assist those facing difficulty. The Council are going to give 3 years of preservation for these people.“


For further information please contact: Brian Smith: 07775 915896 Emma Phillips: 07538 101221 John Leach: 01595 744675