Defend the right to strike on 1 February

On Wednesday 1 February, workers across the country are coming together to defend the right to strike.

If passed, the Tories’ Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill would effectively ban strikes in certain professions. The ability to withhold your labour is a fundamental human right—we need to defend this.

In Edinburgh there are rallies at:

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EIS strike—advice for members in schools

On Thursday 24 November, teachers in the EIS will be on strike over pay.

The facts

All schools will be closed.

Staff who are not striking will be working from home.

Pupils on free school meals will get their Thursday lunch to take home on Wednesday.

There will be no clubs at schools, other than evening classes after 6pm.

Crossing the picket

Download the Council’s guide to industrial action for details (PDF)

Download Unite’s guide for members not involved in industrial action (PDF)

Working from home presents a question of whether this is crossing a picket. A picket line is not just a physical line, but one that can be crossed virtually.

The decision is yours.

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Call to all members—rally Parliament on 8 December for the Scottish Government budget!

The fight for fair pay—all members to Scottish Parliament at 11am on Thursday 8 December

On 15 December, the Scottish Government will announce their budget for the year. This is important for all local government workers, as it will indicate what cuts may be ahead and how the government will value its local government—and other public sector—workers.

We are now in a recession. It is forecast to be the longest and with the hardest impact on living standards since records began, so we expect this budget to outline cuts. The public sector has already been cut to ribbons by the decade-long package of austerity following the 2008 recession. There is simply nothing left to cut without huge impacts on our communities and vulnerable people. We must oppose all cuts every step of the way.

This starts with rallying at the Scottish Parliament the week before the budget.

Rally on 8 December at 11am

The STUC (Scottish Trade Unions Congress) has organised a mass lobby outside the Scottish Parliament on 8 December from 11am to 1pm.

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Strikes, demos and events

The waves of strikes across the UK continue and over winter we are set to see more and more workers walk out over poor pay and attacks on their conditions.

As a branch, we must show solidarity with fellow workers in their fight for fair wages and fair treatment in the face of a cost of living crisis caused by profiteering companies and the reckless economic strategies of the Tories.

Workers continue to unite, fight and win. Initiatives such as Trade Unions in Community—detailed below—provide opportunities to foster solidarity, make connections and let people know that when they join together they can improve their workplaces and communities.

We must also stand up against injustice and racism, which is why we would encourage all members to attend the demo for Sheku Bayou detailed below.

Here are details of how you can show solidarity with our comrades in other sectors and unions:

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Climate crisis demo on Saturday 12 November

World leaders are not acting fast enough to prevent catastrophic climate change and they won’t move unless pushed. So please get on the streets this Saturday 12 November at 12 midday at St. Andrew’s Square to demand change as part of the COP27: Global Day of Action.

The day promises to be a fantastic mix of street art, theatre, music and protest.

The Edinburgh route will highlight key crises, for example at the assembly point in St Andrews Square there will be a huge set of “scales of justice” to highlight the unfair treatment of the developing world and the need for Loss and Damage payments to them. There will also be the “Red Rebels” street theatre, music and collections for Pakistan flood relief.

Other locations en-route feature

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Scotland demands a pay rise—STUC march and rally on 8 September

Assemble at 10:30am on Johnson Terrace to march off at 11am.
Rally at the Scottish Parliament 11.30am to 1pm

The Cost-of-Living Crisis is hitting people across the country. Public service workers in particular are facing a fresh set of real terms pay cuts on top of years of stagnating wages.

The STUC and our affiliated unions are campaigning for a range of urgent actions to stem this crisis, including action to reduce energy bills, support for those of all ages on benefits, rent caps and action to reduce transport costs.

The ultimate responsibility for the Cost-of-Living Crisis sits with the Tories at Westminster. However, this does not mean that the Scottish Government is powerless. It needs to start by funding inflation level pay rises for Scottish public service workers.

Join us, as we demand better for the public service workers of Scotland.

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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