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Date: Fri 1 March 2013

UNISON to ballot members on local government pay offer

UNISON Scotland is to ballot its local government members on a final pay offer from councils.

Branch delegates will meet in Glasgow next month (15 March) to decide on any recommendation on the 1% offer from COSLA, before a full postal ballot takes place.

Dougie Black, Joint Trade Union Side Secretary, said the local government unions had wanted to negotiate to have the offer improved, but that the employers had made it clear this was their final offer.

It has two parts – a 1% increase for all staff and a Scottish Local Government Living Wage, set at £7.50 per hour. The offer is for a single year, applicable from 1 April 2013.

Dougie said: “We welcome the fact that the employers have finally gone some way to addressing low pay by the introduction of a Living Wage. This has been a key component of our pay claims for the last few years.

“However, we are disappointed at the level of the offer at 1%. This has to be seen in the context of local government workers only having seen pay increase by 0.65% over the last three years, while many other public sector workers earning under £21,000 have received an annual payment of £250. And of course the cost of living has gone up, with big energy and food price increases.”

UNISON is also concerned that COSLA has not promised to uprate the Living Wage annually, leaving this up to individual councils. The union will continue to pursue this.

For further information please contact:
Dougie Black, UNISON's Regional Organiser, on 07958 121 851
Stephanie Herd, Chair of Local Government Committee, 07989 544162
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07876 566 978
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877 000

Notes to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland - including all of Scotland's local authiroties.

2.More information about the Local Government Pay Campaign 2013 is on our website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2013/