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Local government pay dispute update

Following the result of the consultative ballot on CoSLA’s recent adjustment to the pay offer for 2021/22, our Local Authority Regional Industrial Sector Committee (RISC) has contacted the employer to notify of Unite members’ acceptance of the offer.

However, our RISC has also issued the employer with a warning that the struggle for decent pay and terms and conditions does not end here as next year’s pay negotiations start now. Please see latest newsletter here and read our press release below:

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HAVS crisis in Parks and Greenspaces

Essential guidance for those working with vibrating machinery

Photo by isi martínez on Unsplash

Around 20% of ground maintenance staff in the Council suffer from symptoms related to HAVS (hand arm vibration syndrome). Your branch is looking into this concerning figure and trying to understand how big an issue HAVS is in the workforce.

Complete our HAVS survey

Read on for useful information if you work with vibrating machinery.

Issues with HAVS in Parks and Greenspaces

Members have raised concerns that

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Pay update—get your consultative ballot votes in!

On 1 November, Unite issued a consultative ballot to all members to ask if they accept or reject COSLA’s revised pay offer—shown below. This ballot will come out by email if we have one on the system for you—check your contact details are correct using MyUnite or calling the office on 0131 556 9676.

You must return the ballot by Friday 12 November.

Industrial action is postponed to allow the ballot to take place.

Unite recommends you accept the offer—more on this below.

Industrial action ballot

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Unite reps march for a green future at COP26

This weekend Unite reps joined hundreds of thousands of other trade unionists, activists and citizens to demonstrate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

Your branch was represented by reps braving the wet conditions to stand in solidarity and demand that the gathering world leaders take heed of the messages from the crowd and act now to stop climate change and protect life on our planet.

Gillian Foy, workplace rep, said

The Day of Action in Glasgow was a genuinely uplifting event. Despite the terrible weather, 100,000 people came came together to make common cause on the issue of climate justice, with similar events taking place worldwide. 

It was brilliant to meet Unite members from different branches in Scotland as well as other trade unionists, and to march alongside a wide range of groups and individuals. 

The diversity of participants and speakers was really inspiring and I think it’s vital that Unite continues to be active around environmental issues. 

Climate and sustainability in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Council’s approach to the climate crisis is due to be published in the 2030 Climate Strategy on 30 November 2021, as discussed at a recent Policy and Sustainability Committee. The draft strategy outlines 7 priorities:

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September demo to #SaveOurCareHomes

Unite give a deputation to the EIJB at the City Chambers to protest care home closures

On 28 September, the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board met to discuss plans to change Drumbrae Care Home to a hospital based complex clinical care unit (HBCCC) and to close the NHS-run community hospital at Ferryfield.

The Council trade unions organised demos throughout the day with the support of community activists and Labour councillors. Once again, Unite gave a deputation to the EIJB to speak out against cuts to publicly owned-residential care homes, the unaccountable nature of the EIJB and the lack of consultation with staff, residents and citizens. Watch Unite’s deputation in the Council’s webcast or read it below.

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Industrial Action Ballot

Word is beginning to filter through that UNISON have not reached the industrial action ballot threshold (50%) in their pay ballot. If this is true then it means Unite and GMB members will have to carry the fight for better pay and conditions to the employer without this union.

Our ballot closes on 7th October 2021 and ballots were posted last week.

Members balloted are:

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Recruitment in Waste and Cleansing

Looking for a permanent drivers job in Waste and Cleansing?

The Council are recruiting to permanent positions for Waste and Cleansing Driver Crew Leaders.

Unite have been campaigning to reduce agency spend in the Council and ensure internal candidates have support in their applications for these jobs, so we are delighted that the Council are offering support and interview skills assistance for current staff and agency staff that are looking to apply.

If you work in Waste and Cleansing, contact your line manager for details of this.