Vote now to fight for a fair pay deal for council workers
Yesterday (19 June) Unite began sending out ballots to all members in schools and early years across Scotland to ask if you will strike over pay.
The current pay offer is a significant real terms pay cut, as inflation (RPI) remains well above 10%, with food inflation around 20%. Year after year of real terms pay cuts devalues jobs by driving down the spending power you have, and in turn your quality of life. A job in which you could be comfortable 10 years ago, may see you on the breadline now. We know that this is the case for many members—and the only way to change this is to fight back.
Last year, workers in Waste and Cleansing fought on behalf of all Council workers. As a result, we got the Scottish Government to the negotiating table and achieved an award worth an additional £600m. This put, on average, an extra £1,500 in the pocket of each Edinburgh Council worker.
This year school workers are fighting for your pay.
If you work in a school and are Council staff…
Watch your letterbox for the ballot! This is a postal ballot only. Please return your ballot as soon as you receive it.
It is crucial that all members that receive a ballot return it.
Time to strike as councillors refuse a decent pay offer for council workers
On Tuesday Unite, Unison and GMB met with COSLA to discuss progress on our pay claim. We requested for the second time in a week that the Scottish Joint Council (SJC – the three unions and the councillors representing the employers’ side) approach the Scottish Government for additional monies to improve the pay offer to give a decent pay rise for local government workers.
Councillors of all parties voted against this motion—refusing to go to the government for more money, despite understanding there is not enough in the pot. The COSLA Leaders—consisting of Council Leaders of all councils in Scotland—had already voted to not go to the government for more money at their meeting last Friday.
This made it clear that the trade unions have no other way to secure a pay fair deal, but to ballot our members to take industrial action.
On Tuesday 23 May, the telematics policy will go to the Policy and Sustainability Committee for approval by the councillors. The Joint Trade Unions of Edinburgh Council (Unite, Unison and GMB) have been negotiating on this policy since June 2022.
The unions have not agreed the policy as a collective agreement.
Through open and meaningful negotiation, we have come a long way in improving the policy to protect the workforce against misuse of this powerful surveillance tool.
Here is a summary of the matters discussed and the improvements made.
Following campaigning from Unite, the Council is improving how it staffs Waste and Cleansing by
reducing the proportion of agency staff
improving the recruitment process for agency staff going for full-time jobs.
This is a significant result for the workforce in Waste and Cleansing.
The promise from the picket
During last year’s strike it came to light how many agency staff were in Waste and Cleansing across the Council. Our estimate put it at around 30-40%, with some areas being staffed almost entirely by agency staff.