Pay offer accepted—looking back on the strike

City Chambers demo on the first day of the 2022 strike. Photo by Craig Maclean.

Today, Unite members accepted the latest pay offer from COSLA, with 71% voting to accept. Read details of the offer and see what it means to you.

Edinburgh waste and cleansing workers led the fight for Scottish local government worker pay.

The strike proved what we knew all along—the undeniable value of waste and cleansing workers, the city’s disease prevention team whose work benefits citizens, businesses and tourists immeasurably, and the power these workers have when organised to take action. The impact was noticed within 12 hours. Edinburgh was turned upside down and this shock made the Scottish Government sit up and take it notice. The action of the waste and cleansing workers brought the First Minister to the table to negotiate a resolution, despite the government’s prior insistence that it had nothing to do with them.

Overwhelmingly, the public stood by us and recognised that our fight is their fight. The attacks on working people in this country are being resisted and we are at the forefront, showing that organised, disciplined workers are ready for the fight for fair pay to weather the cost of living crisis. Edinburgh residents and visitors have shown their support and solidarity, recognising that local government workers are essential, yet unappreciated and unvalued by the Scottish Government.

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Strike pay sessions

Your branch reps will be at the waste depots over the next few days to complete and collect in strike pay forms for all workers that were on strike 18 to 29 August.

Electronic payslips will go out on Thursday 22 September, with paper pay slips following.

New dates – second wave

Bankhead

Friday 7 October 11am to 2pm

Seafield

Wednesday 12 October 12 to 7pm.

What you need to do

Come to any session—doesn’t matter whether it’s your shift or depot, whatever is easiest for you.

You need to have your

  • bank details
  • Council staff number—will be on your payslip
  • Unite membership number—if you don’t have this leave blank and the office will fill it in
  • National Insurance number
  • printed out payslips from August and September.
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Second wave of strike action in Edinburgh starts 6 September—suspended

Photo by Craig Maclean Photography

This action is suspended—see the latest on the pay dispute

Members in Waste and Cleansing will walk out again from Tuesday 6 to Tuesday 13 September as the dispute over local government pay in Scotland continues.

Schools workers in Edinburgh are not on strike.

Striking members should read the strike FAQ and add any questions at the bottom.

Pickets remain as before. See picket locations.

Donate to the strike fund to support these workers.

Latest offer

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Edinburgh waste and cleansing strikes start on Thursday

Edinburgh lead the way in industrial action over local government pay

On Thursday 18th, Unite members in Waste and Cleansing in Edinburgh will take industrial action over the insulting pay offer for local government workers.

On Friday, COSLA increased the offer from 2% to 3.5%. All three unions of the Scottish Joint Council—Unite, Unison and GMB—immediately rejected this insulting offer.

The NHS have been offered—and look set to reject—5%, so once again local government is treated as the poor relation of the public sector. Local government workers in England have been offered a rise of £1,925.

We are the first council to take action, with others following on the 24th—details below.

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Vote YES for fair pay—week 4 of the ballot

Night shift at Seafield Depot

The ballot for industrial action over pay was issued on 10 June. Many of you have now returned this, however we need all members to have their say in this crucial vote.

If you haven’t voted, please do so now.

If you haven’t received your ballot, call 0131 556 9676 immediately to check your details with the office and get a replacement ballot.

COSLA’s offer of a 2% rise—in fact a dramatic pay cut, given that inflation is currently at 11.7%—is a slap in the face to the dedicated workforce in the Council. We must take a stand against this, so are recommending all workers vote YES for industrial action.

We have been non-stop raising the issue of Council worker pay and speaking to members to ensure the success of this ballot. Below you can see some of our actions over the past few weeks.

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Industrial action ballot announced—fight for fair pay now!

Ballot to strike over the 2% pay offer announced

Today, Unite announced that we are launching a ballot for industrial action in all Scottish local authorities.

Please see below for the notice of ballot for Edinburgh and information on what this means to you.

Notice to members of forthcoming industrial action ballot

The Union intends to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the following members: All members within the Waste Department and all members within the School Workplaces.
 
Voting papers will be sent out on the 10th of June 2022.

If you have not received a voting paper by the 24th of June, you should contact your workplace reps or the Edinburgh Office IMMEDIATELY.
 
The names of the members to be balloted are available by contacting your workplace reps or the Edinburgh Office. If you are entitled to vote in the ballot please check that you are on the list and that your address is accurately recorded.

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Waste and cleansing—changes to COVID arrangements

We recently met with management to discuss changes to working arrangements in Waste and Cleansing as a result of changes to Scottish Government guidance and restrictions being lifted. The message from senior management is clear—there will be no sudden changes, you will be informed in advanced and they will meet with the unions before anything changes.

We made clear that we were concerned with what we believe is a rushed removal of vital safety measures in the community and that ensuring workers safety is paramount.

Andy Williams summarised the Council’s current position:

Continue reading “Waste and cleansing—changes to COVID arrangements”