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Date: Tue 14 October 2014

UNISON Scotland suspends strike planned for 21 October after improved offer from employers

UNISON Scotland has suspended strike action planned for 21 October and will consult its members on an improved offer put forward by the Scottish employers (CoSLA).

The new offer concentrates on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.

UNISON believes these proposals represent a significant change and is consulting our members in a full consultative ballot which will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.

Mike Kirby UNISON Scottish secretary said:

“UNISON have made real progress on two of our demands. On low pay we have a commitment to consolidate the living wage as the new starting point for local government pay. We know this is hugely important for our lowest paid workers and will affect at least 24 of the 32 local authorities.

" On getting the employer back round the table, COSLA have agreed to reinforce their commitment to joint negotiation and to adhere to the collective bargaining process. UNISON will use this commitment to continue to press for fair pay.

" This is real progress and shows what we can achieve when we work together. UNISON remain determined to continue the fight for fair pay.”


Notes for editors

• UNISON members voted for industrial action, up to and including strike action in the ballot which closed on 29th September. UNISON then announced a strike for 21 October 2014.

• Fair pay. An extra £1 per hour for all workers in Local Government. UNISON members in Local Government had 1% below inflation pay rise imposed on them. Members have seen their pay eroded by 14% since 2007

• An end to low pay. The consolidation of the Living Wage and deletion of spinal column points below the level of the Living Wage. Some council’s make up the living wage through a low pay bonus.

• To get back round the table. UNISON members have had decisions on pay imposed on them in 2013 and 2014. Employers refused to negotiate going against agreed protocols between UNISON and COSLA. Employers should get back round the table and talk about the big issues facing local government including future pay offers

• COSLA is committed to the consolidation of the living wage as the new starting point for payment of the local government workforce. We know that this is hugely important for our lowest paid workers and will affect at least 24 of the 32 local authorities

• COSLA is committed to reinforcing their commitment to joint negotiation and to adhere to the collective bargaining. We have agreed a form of words with COSLA which says ‘our principle aim is to reach mutual agreement based on our shared values on a national scheme of pay and conditions’.

• Local government workers have seen a 14% reduction in their pay since 2007, 40,000 jobs have been lost and they are the only sector which has actually seen a cash cut to services – all in all meaning our members live with the stress which comes with having to do more work for less money.

• UNISON is the largest trade union in Scotland and the largest in local government where it has 72,000 members.

For further information please contact:
• Danny Phillips, UNISON communications officer, 0141 342 2877, 07944 664 110
• Dougie Black, regional officer for local government, 07958 121 851