UNISON overwhelmingly reject pay offer and vote to move towards strike action.

Pay Up Now CoSLA

UNISON Scotland’s local government members have overwhelmingly voted to reject their employer’s pay offer (CoSLA) of 3% for workers earning up to £80,000, and to move towards strike action in support of their claim for fair pay.   

UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions – who have also run consultative ballots of their members - will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November. 

Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON Scotland local government committee said: “UNISON members have overwhelmingly rejected the 3% pay offer. They do not think it is fair that the Scottish government found £38m extra to put into teachers' pay, over and above their cost of living increase, but they have offered no additional money for low paid local government workers.  UNISON will now meet other local government trade unions and employers tomorrow. If UNISON and other unions decide to move towards strike action the next step will be to hold a statutory industrial action ballot.”

Johanna Baxter, head of local government (bargaining) said: “What this result demonstrates is a real anger and frustration amongst UNISON members at the lack of action by CoSLA and the Scottish government to address the serious issue of low pay in local government.  UNISON will talk to other local government trade unions on Friday to discuss further action and we will inform employers of the ballot results then. As the Scottish government prepare their budget we will put further pressure on them to make more money available to fund a decent pay rise for local government staff.  Local government workers have endured a decade of real-terms pay cuts, and they have now simply had enough.”

Notes: 
•    UNISON is the largest trade union in local government, the public services trade union and the largest trade union in the UK
•    This was a consultative ballot. 79% voted to reject the offer. 67% voted to take industrial action, up to and including strike action in pursuit of the Joint Trade Unions pay claim.
•    Voting in the local government consultative ballot closed 5pm, 7 November .
•    Local government workers have endured a decade austerity with job cuts, and a decade of real-terms pay cuts. A decade of austerity has led to staffing shortages in key areas of local government like social care and school staff. 
•    The final offer from the employers (CoSLA), after months of campaigning and negotiations, is 3% for one year for workers earning up to £80,000. Despite assurances from CoSLA about parity and fairness across all local government workers, the Scottish government found an extra £38m for teachers – meaning some teachers could get up to 10% pay rises, while the teaching assistants working alongside them would get 3%.  
•    The offer to UNISON members is below the current rate of inflation and does not address or improve low pay.
•    This is a consultative ballot, if we want to move towards industrial action we would need to hold a statutory ballot – to meet the trade union legislation. This is one of the issues under discussion at committee.

As Pay Ballot looms - Local Newspaper Reports on 'Shocking' Pay Losses exposed by our Pay Loss Calculator

The Dundee Courier reported today on our Pay Campaign and the figures exposed by Dundee City Unison's Pay Loss Calculator.

The article carries comments from Branch Secretary Jim McFarlane and Communication Officer Arthur Nicoll (who build the calculator).

It demonstrates the frustration of our members at having to constantly "Do More, With Less and For Less".

To lose around 1 whole year's pay (and that's against the lower inflation rate CPI) over a period of a few years is a disgraceful statement of how little regard the political leadership in Westminter, Holyrood and CoSLA have for the vital work done by our members.

You sometimes hear people say "we never get back what we lose by striking". Quite apart from how easy it is to show that isn't true, these figures show exactly what the cost of not taking action is. 

The Digital Ballot Opens next week (hopefully on/around 16th October) and will run until around 7th/8th November (the dates are still being finalised). We are calling for you to REJECT the employers' offer and support taking Industrial action in support of our claim of 6.5%.

If this vote is successful but the employer does not move to significantly improve the offer, we will move to a Formal Postal Ballot on Industrial Action.

New anti-union laws, aimed at restricting action by public sector workers mean that at least 50% of those balloted  (in a formal Industrial Action Ballot) must vote.

We need to make sure we meet that threshold. So not only is it important that we vote to REJECT the offer and follow that with a Vote for Industrial action in the formal ballot (if necessary),  we need to make sure all our members know about the Ballots and use their votes.

So, get active and get all the members you know to VOTE and vote REJECT!

2018 Branch AGM(s) Start Today (Tues 27th Feb)

As with Previous years we are trying to make it easier for members to participate in our AGM by bringing it to you.

This year we are holding 4 AGM sessions.

  1. Tuesday 27th Feb, 12 noon - West District (Housing) Office, Pitkerro Rd. (Community Lounge).

  2. Weds 28th Feb, 12 Noon - Dundee House Floor 1 (Room 1.1)

  3. Thursday 1st March 12 noon - West District (Housing) Office,  Lochee (Community Lounge)

  4. Friday 2nd March 5:00pm - 14 City Square, (Committee Room 1)

There will be a light buffet available at all sessions. Branch officers will be available at all sessions​ but they and other members will only be able to vote on any specific item at 1 session.

The branch financial statement will be available at each session and the other documentation, including the agenda are available here in PDF format:

Hope to see you all there.

Unions call for members to REJECT the latest CoSLA Pay Offer

Each of the 3 main Unions met at various times last week to consider the latest (and "final") offer from Scottish Local Government Employers (CoSLA).

Their earlier offer was 2% for all employees earning up to £36,500 per year. 2% for those earning £36501 to £80,000 and £1,600 for those earning over £80,000.

This was improved slightly by offering 3% to everyone up to £80,000 and still £1,600 for those above that.

On Friday 7th Sept, Unison's Scottish Local Government Committee discussed this in detail before settling on a clear agreement to recommend rejection of the offer to our members. This position was ratified by delegates at the Unison Scottish Local Government Conference, later that same day.

The joint union claim was for the higher of 6.5% or £1500. This offer comes no where near that.

It was clear to all that the offer, though better than years before, still left our members with very little improvement in our massively reduced standard of living - with inflation at 2.4% (CPI) and 3.4% (RPI). 

Whilst we do have many members who will have gained by the extension of the 3% threshold, for the majority of our members below that level, it will seem like a slap to only improve the offer for higher paid employees.

We demand a proper pay rise for all our members. One that actually makes a difference to their living standards. When you consider how much pay we have lost over the past years, members are telling us they have had their fill of paying for the bosses crisis - and we have paid dearly. The image below shows how pay awards for a typical pay point have been completely left behind compared to where they would be, if they had kept pace with price rises. This shows both CPI and RPI rates.

 

 As you can see, a huge gap has opened up since 2009. This represents pay lost increasingly year on year. Even after the 3% increase offered this year, most pay points will still be way behind where they should be.

Use our Pay Loss Calculator to see how much you've been underpaid over the years since 2009. For most of us, it is around 1 whole year's pay when compared to CPI inflation. That means we might as well have worked 1 whole year for free since 2009. Against RPI it's around 16 months pay!

We know you will not be willing to let this continue. We will be holding a digital consultative ballot soon and need every member to vote and vote to reject.

We will, of course need to consider taking industrial action to improve the offer. We hope you will agree it is worth fighting for more. 

More details will be given in our upcoming branch bulletin.