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Weds 22 October 2008

Ballot on new offer starts for 100,000 Scottish Council staff

Ballot papers asking over 100,000 UNISON members working for Scotland's local councils their view of the latest local government pay offer, will start to land on people's desks tomorrow (Thursday). The ballot covers members working for Scotland's 32 local councils, local joint valuation boards and fire and rescue staff.

The union is recommending that members reject CoSLA's offer of 3% for 2008 and 2.5% for 2009. Members of the other two unions representing local council staff (GMB and Unite(T&G))are also being balloted with a recommendation to reject the offer. They are due to declare at the same time as UNISON.

The new offer comes following two successful one day strikes by the unions. Selective action planned by UNISON members was suspended to allow consultation to take place.

Dougie Black, UNISON Regional Organiser and lead negotiator said "This offer is not a good offer - especially when inflation is riding around 5%, but our negotiators felt that we should put it before our members in a full postal ballot.

"It is clear from employers' statements that they are digging in for a major dispute, and we will be telling our members that increased and longer strike action will be needed to deliver an offer that protects them from the major rises that they have experienced in food, heating and fuel."


Notice for editors: Ballot papers started being issued today (22 October) and the ballot closes on the 12 November. UNISONScotland organises local government staff in Scotland including social workers, housing staff, library & museum workers, cleansing and environmental protection staff, technicians and trading standards workers, early years workers, cooks, cleaners and classroom assistants. They have already taken two days of strike action on 20 August and 24 September.

For further information please contact: Dougie Black, Regional Officer - Secretary, TU negotiators 07958 121 851(m) Stephanie Herd, Chair - TU negotiators 07989 544 162(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer 07715 583 729(m)