3 Feb 2013
Branches to meet again after new talks
Local Government Branches meeting on 1 February heard
that pay talks held with the employers on 24 January
progress but further talks were scheduled for 5 February.
Branches decided to reconvene after that to hear a report
on any progress before deciding the way forward.
Branch after branch reported their members' growing anger
at the attacks on living stadards.
Stephanie Herd, UNISON Scottish Local Government Chair,
said: “While the Living Wage element is welcome,
the offer falls below what is needed to keep pace with
“Local Government workers have gone through a pay
freeze at a time when inflation averaged 5%, food prices
have been going up by 7% a year and energy prices by 15%.”
On the table is an offer of 1% from 1 April 2013. If after
the 1% is applied, there are staff who fall below the ‘Living
Wage’, this would be brought up to £7.50 an
hour from 1 April this year.
PAY FACT: If the minimum wage had increased, since its
introduction in 1999, at the same annual rate as the pay
of FTSE 100 Chief executives, it would have reached £18.89
per hour this year instead of £6.19. We are clearly
not 'all in this together'.
to seek more talks and ballot to follow in January 2013.
Local Government branches met on 30 November and heard
that Local Government employers had made an offer of
1% from 1 April 2013. If after the 1% is applied, there
staff who fall below the 'Living Wage', this will be
brought up to £7.50 an hour from 1 April 2013.
The offer also calls for a 'working party' on pay for
on 'flexible and adaptable' working practices.
While the 'Living Wage' elements is welcome, the offer
falls below what is needed to keep pace with inflation.
Local Government workers have gone through a pay freeze
at a time when inflation averaged 5%, food prices have
been going up by 7% a year and energy prices by 15%.
The offer was made outside the normal bargaining procedures
and negotiators will seek, along with the other unions,
to open proper negotiations and consult members via a ballot
in January 2013. They will return to a Recall
Conference on 11th Jan to report on progress. Branches
are urged to call workplace meetings to brief members and
Scotland comment on local government pay offer 22
UNISON Scotland is set to consult members on
a pay offer for local government workers. >>more
Fair Pay Day 27 June
freeze must thaw’ – that’s the
message from Scotland’s council workers on
Fair Pay Day - See updates on what branches are
doing at facebook and the blog
FAIR PAY DAY is on Wednesday 27 June.
An invite to this will be sent out on Facebook. Help to
build this by inviting your friends on FB to it as well.
Every member of UNISON, GMB and Unite can help to make this
day a success by helping to distribute leaflets and stickers.
We are launching our Fair Pay for
Council Workers petition and asking every member and
their friends and families to sign up.
Fair Pay leaflets. Click on the leaflet for a pdf version
to print off
Five reasons why we need a Fair Pay campaign?
1. It's a pay cut, not a pay freeze
Our members know the true cost of pay cuts: they don't give
up a luxury, they struggle to afford a necessity. Local government
workers are facing the second year of a pay freeze at a time
when inflation averaged 5%, food prices have been going up
by 7% a year and energy prices by 15%. And the people on the
lowest grades suffer most as they spend more of their income
on these necessities.
2. Is my pay really that bad?
Local government workers are among the lowest paid in the
public sector. Three-quarters of the workforce are women,
but there's a part-time gender pay-gap in Scotland of 33%.
That means that women working part-time earn 67p per hour,
for every £1 per hour that a man working full-time earns.
With the cost of living increasing, a two year pay freeze
represents a pay cut in real terms.
3. Shouldn't I be more worried
about losing my job through 'efficiencies'?
UNISON/GMB/Unite are fighting to protect jobs and services
up and down the country. But we need to make a stand on
pay now to protect your standard of living and show that
we value what we do for local communities - even if the
employers don't. This isn't a choice between fair pay or
a job. A continued pay freeze doesn't come with the guarantee
of continued employment!
4. My council is making budget
cuts, surely they have no money for a pay award?
Local government workers are not responsible for the current
economic situation. It's unjust and unreasonable to expect
these workers to pay for the budget cuts while those who
caused the crisis continue to get big pay packets and fat
bonuses. All workers deserve fair pay. Managers often talk
about 'affordability', but it is a question of whether they
can afford NOT to give their employees a decent wage. If
they are to recruit and retain staff in vital jobs, they
will have to pay them a living wage - otherwise, people
will vote with their feet. You can't keep cutting budgets
and expect the lowest paid to fill the gap.
5. The Scottish Government promised
a £250 pay rise to low paid workers. Why have I not received
This commitment does not apply to local government workers.
It only applies to workers who are employed either directly
by the Scottish Government or Scottish Government agencies.
UNISON/GMB/ Unite have pursued this matter directly with
the local government employers (CoSLA), however, they have
refused to pay this. Another reason why we need a Fair Pay
‘It’s time for fair pay’ say unions as they lodge pay
claim for local government workers
Tuesday 8 May 2012: ‘It’s time
for fair pay’. That was the message from Scotland’s local
government unions today (Tuesday, May 8) as they lodged
their annual pay claim on behalf of council workers in a
bid to end the continued pay freeze. Click
here for press release
Briefing for branches
23 April 2012: Following UNISON's
Scottish Local Government Conference on 23rd April agreement
has now been reached with Unite and GMB to submit a pay
claim for local government workers for the period 1 April
2012 - 31 March 2013.
The claim is as follows
- A single year claim
- £1,000 flat rate payment
- The introduction of a Living Wage with a minimum hourly
rate of £7.20
- Encourage Community and Voluntary organisations, ALEO's
conditioned to the SJC to implement any settlement agreed.
It is not enough however to simply lodge the claim and
hope that negotiations will prevail! We have to win the
hearts and minds of our members as to why pay matters more
than ever at this time.
Workers in local government are the poor relations of the
public sector as we enter the second year of a pay freeze.
Our employers have already told us that they have no intention
of engaging with the trade unions on pay this year.
If we are to change this we need to ensure that our members
are ready to stand up and fight for Fair Pay, it is no more
than they deserve. A Fair Pay campaign timetable and plan
is being developed in order to gauge and encourage support
among our members across the three trade unions.
A Fair Pay campaign logo and theme are being worked on
to give the campaign an identity that members can relate
Resources such as members leaflet, workplace posters, Myths/FAQ's,
campaign briefings, template press releases for use in branches
and model letters for elected members and chief executives
seeking support for our claim will be available for branches.
Branches will be asked to identify key spokespeople (Pay
Champions) within branches, similar to Pensions Champions
during the Pensions Dispute, to coordinate the campaign
A Pay Seminar will be organised for Branch Secretaries
and Pay Champions to ensure a consistency of approach to
the campaign. Further details will follow.
Political lobbying will be a key component of our campaign,
both locally and nationally. In the short term branches
will be encouraged to raise the issue of pay with candidates
in the Local Government Elections on 3rd May.
The campaign will also be launched online using existing
social media networks, to achieve this the SLGC Facebook
page will be revamped and a Twitter page created and linked
into Facebook and Twitter feeds.
However the key to a successful campaign to burst the pay
freeze will be to ensure the members help us win wide support
to raise public awareness of the contribution UNISON members
make to local communities and the pressures they face.