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.
The document here shows estimates of both how much that gap would be in 2018/19 and the total money lost over all those 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 18 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.