Industrial action ballot launched—important details for members

Branch convener Graeme Smith and branch secretary Brian Robertson each hold a Unite flag and jointly hold an envelope reading notice of industrial action outside the Edinburgh City Chambers
Branch convener Graeme Smith and branch secretary Brian Robertson serve the notice of industrial action at the City Chambers

Unite launch industrial action ballots across all Scottish local authorities as pay dispute escalates 
 
Today, Unite the Union served notice of industrial action ballot to all 32 Scottish local authorities following an overwhelming rejection of the pay offer in a consultative ballot.
 
In the ballot:

  • 83% rejected pay offer
  • 74% indicated a willingness to take strike action. 

Important ballot information for members

We will conduct a ballot for industrial action of the following members:

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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.

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Pay ballot out now

Vote now for a fair pay deal!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Unite have issued the email ballot for you to have your say on the pay award.

Submit your vote as soon as you can and let us know if you haven’t received the email. The email subject is Local Authorities Pay Ballot 2021.

We recommend our members REJECT the offer.

Deadline is 22 April.

COSLA’s offer

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Council budget 2021: our deputation

Normally, we would give our deputation as part of the Council’s budget meeting—taking place today—but due to the temporary standing orders ruling that deputations can only be submitted in writing, we can’t do that this year. Read on for our full deputation, or watch the video for a summary.

Join us on Twitter for discussion of the budget at @unitececbranch.

Unite CEC Branch’s deputation to Full Council on 18 February 2021

Unite CEC Branch would like to preface this deputation with an objection to the temporary rules that dictate that deputations can only be submitted in writing. The Council has used technology to overcome many challenges this year and we believe digital participation in Council committees from groups submitting deputations is not insurmountable and that barring active participation is contrary to the principle of democracy that the voices of citizens and workers can be heard as part of these proceedings.

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Pay claim proposals—local authority newsletter

In the recent pay survey, Unite members gave the below proposals for the forthcoming pay claim.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Unite believes that councils, elected representatives and communities can see the value of local government workers and the importance of rewarding them appropriately for their commitment before and during the pandemic.

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Living wage consolidation—local authority newsletter

Following the implementation of the 2018-21 pay deal in 2019, Unite, along with our sister unions, has been working with COSLA to develop a set of principles to ensure the full consolidation of the Scottish Government Living Wage.

These talks have been, at times, challenging, however Unite has persisted.

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Annual leave: agreed COSLA guidance and CEC’s position

Read our analysis of the Council’s current position on annual leave in light of COSLA guidance and legislative changes

Photo above by Viko Mozara, courtesy of unsplash

The coronavirus situation has caused several concerns around annual leave to be raised. Some of the main concerns are:

  • when to take annual leave
  • carrying forward annual leave to following years
  • using annual leave for wellbeing purposes
  • lack of flexibility over annual leave booked prior to lockdown
  • stress caused by lockdown.

Edinburgh Council’s guidance

The council’s current guidance, covering permanent employees, says that you should take annual leave during the current annual leave year unless there are “operational reasons” precluding this. Employees unable to take annual leave as normal may be permitted to carry forward a maximum of 10 days into leave year 2020/2021 only in “exceptional circumstances” and where essential services demands permit.

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