Pay update: Unite rejects COSLA’s offer, gets STUC support

Unite members have rejected the COSLA pay offer. 83.3% voted to reject the offer, with 80% indicating they were willing to take industrial action.

Over 14,000 workers were balloted.

The next steps will be for an industrial action ballot. Make sure your details are up to date by checking MyUnite or contacting the office on 0131 556 9676.

Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish Secretary, has written an excellent article on local government workers for the Morning Star that provides a great analysis of the work done by local authorities and the context for current pay dispute.

Read all posts about the current pay claim for details of the offer, the unions’ proposal and history of the negotiation.

STUC supports local government workers

The STUC conference took place this week. An emergency motion—included at the bottom of the page—was carried on local authority pay that calls for on the STUC to

  • Issue a statement fully supporting the Local Government Workforce.
  • Raise the matter with COSLA and the Scottish Government.
  • Raise with candidates in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

2% for Council workers 3% for Trams

We note with interest that Edinburgh Trams received a 3% pay award.

STUC conference: emergency motion 1 Local Government Pay

Congress notes the local government trade unions, representing the SJC and Craft workforces, are balloting members to reject the pay offer made by Cosla on March 15th. An offer made three months after the unions submitted their pay claim, leaving little time for negotiations.

Local Government workers have been providing essential, preventative and lifesaving services throughout the pandemic. Without their hard work and flexibility

  • Key Workers would not have been able to continue to attend work.
  • Our environment would have been adversely affected, increasing the risk of virus transmission.
  • Children would not have continued with their education across early years and schools.
  • Our vulnerable and elderly would not have been provided with essential care and support.
  • Registration Services, Cemeteries and Temporary Mortuaries could not have continued to be delivered.
  • Vaccination and asymptomatic testing centres could not have operated.

These efforts come after over ten years of austerity involving cuts to services and jobs, pay freezes and below inflation pay rises.

Congress further notes the pay offer to local government unions merely repeated the Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy, which even the Scottish Government abandoned with the offer of a well-deserved minimum pay rise of 4% to colleagues in the NHS.

Congress believes the current pay offer does not address the issue of low pay in local government. Cosla figures show that 55% of local government workers earn below £25k per annum. The average full-time wage in Scotland is £31k per annum, meaning most local government workers earn considerably lower than the average wage.

Congress calls on the General Council to

  1. Issue a statement fully supporting the Local Government Workforce.
  2. Raise the matter with COSLA and the Scottish Government
  3. Raise with candidates in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

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