Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festivals can be difficult to navigate so here are some festival events that have been recommended to us as worthwhile. If you would like to recommend a show, comment on a show or write a review please do so using the “leave a reply” field at the foot of the page.

Beg For Me

Underbelly, Bristo Square, Venue 302: 3rd to 29th August, 1pm. Tickets from £7

Against the backdrop of the storming of the US Capitol this show explores themes of misogyny, Alt-Right and digital extremism.

Further details and booking on: Fringe website

Saber Came to Tea

Zoo Southside, Venue 82 (Southside Community Centre): 6th to 7th August, 10.30am. Tickets £10 (concs) or £12, family tickets available

Tells the story of a young Yemeni woman’s defiance of family and social norms in choosing a partner to wed. Play is in Arabic with English Subtitling.

Further details and booking on: Fringe website

From the Heart of the Incident

Zoo Southside, Venue 82 (Southside Community Centre):8th to 9th August, 10.30am. Tickets £10 (concs) or £12, family tickets available

True story of an Edinburgh Ophthalmologist caught up in an MI5 sting in Belfast and subsequently detained without trial for 16 months. The subject of this play remains awaiting trial.

Further details and booking on: Fringe website

Unite Members in Waste to take action during festival

Unite the Union gave notice today (4th August 2022) that members in Waste (Refuse Collection, Street Cleansing and Recycling Centres) will down tools as of 5am on 18th August and return to work from 4.59am on 30th August.

This action has been forced upon our branch members by the lack of any additional pay offer following the insulting 2% offer made in early spring and cost of living rises reducing the value of their pay.

Waste Workers in Edinburgh have no wish to cause disruption to citizens, tourists and businesses but have been left with no option following the radio silence from CoSLA and the only thing coming out of the scottish government being the old rhetoric of blaming Westminster. Our Waste Workers (Heroes of the Pandemic every one) know full well the scottish government has the capability to support our cash strapped councils to deliver a decent pay rise to council workers.

Further action will occur across Scotland as Unite members in other councils and other unions follow the lead of our Edinburgh Unite Waste Workers. and school workers look to commence their actions.

Council Pay Ballot 2022

Unite members in Schools and Waste across the country have sent a resounding message to councils, cosla and that scottish government that they will not sit back and accept the attempt to push them into poverty through a much lower than inflation pay increase.

These are the workers who kept our country going throughout the pandemic. Those who were clapped on Thursday evenings until people got bored of it.

They are the School Cleaners (the Infection Control Teams), the Refuse Collection, Civic Site and Street Cleansing Workers (the Disease Prevention Units), the School Janitors (the Security and Safety Squads), the School Caterers (the Health and Nutrition Corps), the School Administrators (the Information Security Sections), the Pupil Support Workers and School Technicians (the Education Enablement Divisions).

They are also amongst the lowest paid workers in local government and consequently some of the most acutely affected by the Cost of Living Crisis.

Across the country Unite members in 26 of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities, including our own council, have sent this message. See the Unite the Union main website for more details.

Our branch message to these Key Worker Heroes of the pandemic must be that we all support them in the action that they take as they are the Heroes of our pay dispute and will press the point to the scottish government, cosla and our council that council workers must be given A DECENT PAY RISE.

Council Pay and Cost of Living

The financial case for a pay rise

The media is regularly talking about the cost of living crisis and, as consumers, we can see this clearly in price increases in shops, petrol stations, energy bills etc.  However, whilst we know everyday costs are rising, we don’t have a clear picture of what this means to our wages and therefore our purchasing power.  Nor can we see clearly what a pay rise may mean for us in this context, in both immediate and longer runs. 

The straightforward logic says that if inflation is at 11.7% then anything lower than this is a pay cut.  Certainly, the paltry 2% offer from CoSLA looks very much like a pay cut but we feel that some hard numbers are required to support this notion.

In an attempt to get a better understanding of this problem we looked at a sample of jobs in the City of Edinburgh Council that pay less than £25,000 per annum for a 36 hour working week.  We used the current pay (defined by the CEC pay and grading structure April 2021) as a baseline.  Grades 2 and 3 used pay at the top of the grade, for grades 4 and 5 the mid-point was selected. Pay used in this analysis is that before deductions. Table 1 below shows the current grade and full-time (i.e.36hrs) pay for each of the identified council roles.

Continue reading “Council Pay and Cost of Living”

Cost of Living Crisis Demo: report

Dozens of Unite members joined around 150 protestors at the protest organised by Another Edinburgh is Possible on 12th February 2022 in front of the UK Government Buildings at Sibbald Walk, just beside our Council Headquarters at Waverley Court.

Speakers included politicians, community activists and trade unionists. Our Unite CEC branch secretary made a promise to the governor of the Bank of England “if you reduce the cost of living I will ask our members to consider reducing their pay demands,” after highlighting the low pay (and short hours) of some 150,000 Local Government Workers across Scotland (some 10,000 in our city) and the disastrous effect of National Insurance increases, energy hikes, fuel, clothing and food costs rising that would impoverish workers and make our council cut even more jobs and services.

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:

Continue reading “Local government pay dispute update”