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:

Unite Scotland Press Release
Immediate Release: 12 November

Unite local government workers accept improved pay offer but send ‘warning shot’ to COSLA and Scottish Government

Unite has today (12 November) confirmed that its local government membership has accepted the improved pay offer from COSLA.

The trade union had postponed its industrial action to consult its members on the new offer, which will now ensure a significant wage increase for around 250,000 workers. The wage deal importantly ensures an increase for the lowest paid workers of 5.8% helping to address poverty pay in local government, and a minimum rate of £9.78 per hour.

It also includes a £850 flat rate payment based on a 37-hour working week for those earning up to £25,000, and a commitment to discuss the costs of professional fees including the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration fee outside of the settlement.

Care workers must be registered with the SSSC to carry out their job. In recent years, councils have passed the cost of the registration on to low-paid carers, who are predominantly female. Registration can cost between £25 and £80 dependent on the role.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “The deal for local government workers across Scotland will ensure that the lowest paid will get a significant increase in their pay of 5.8%. Unite’s members were prepared to fight for a fair wage deal which addresses poverty pay in local government, and this deal goes some way in that fight for justice.”

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer added: “Unite’s members have accepted this deal, however, pay increases are not a one-year wonder. We will keep the pressure on COSLA and the Scottish Government to improve the standards of living for all local authorities’ workers. Unite’s campaign for 2022 starts now, and we will not tolerate the nonsense of waiting months at a time for offers. This should be a warning shot to both COSLA and the Scottish Government that for too long there has been a reliance on local government workers putting up with little or no pay rises, and this has to stop.”


Herald Article

2 thoughts on “Local government pay dispute update”

  1. Really not happy with how the pay dispute was handled. We were told by representatives to accept. I personally didn’t as I wasn’t happy with it. Some weeks later we were advised to reject it. So some guys will have already accepted after instruction when some weeks later we’re told not to. Very poor communication from the union, very poor.

    1. Hi Martin

      Thanks for commenting.

      Unite recommended to reject the offer from COSLA in the August consultative ballot, then to accept the revised offer in the November ballot. There were no changes to the decisions midway for either ballot — August was always to reject, November to accept — so if you’ve heard otherwise please let me know where this came from at graeme.smith2@unitetheunion.org. See the record of all recommendations.

      Unite’s position will always be communicated on this website and via email. As a a member-led union, individual members and reps are entitled to vote otherwise.

      In solidarity,

      Branch Convenver

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