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

Following a barely and poorly revised offer from the employer (CoSLA) through the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) Unite is holding a consultative ballot of Local Government Employee members to gain members views on the new offer.

Members will receive a ballot by email, text or post depending on individual preferences and information available to Unite. The ballot consists of two questions: 1. whether to accept or reject the offer; 2. on willingness to participate in industrial action. The email comes from UniteScotland and is entitled “Local Authorities Consultative Pay Ballot – August 2021“. Please check your emails. It was sent Monday 23rd August. Should you not receive your ballot contact Unite by calling: 01414045424

The new offer comprises:

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Pay negotiations update

Poster with the text £70 a day strike pay. With Unite on your side, it's easier for council workers to take a stand for a fair and decent pay rise. Act now - go to myunite.unitetheunion.org to make sure your contact details are up to date.

Unite has received a response from the Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, regarding our recent letter on Local Government Employees’ pay.

In her letter she reiterates her commendation and thanks to local government workers. However she has made it quite clear that her thanks does not stretch to financially rewarding our hard work in the fight against a pandemic that has affected and changed the working lives of all local government workers.

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Recent pay increase

Some members (grades 1-3 and start of grade 4) may have noticed a small increase in their wages, paid on 28th April 2021. This increase is an outcome of the consolidation of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW) into the City of Edinburgh Council’s (CEC) pay and grading structure.

CEC have claimed that some 4400 workers will have received an improvement to their take home pay as a consequence of the consolidation and that CEC’s Gender Pay Gap has been improved. Whilst we do not dispute these claims we feel that an opportunity to significantly improve take home pay for those whose wages are lower than average in Edinburgh and thereby tackle in-work poverty and the Gender Pay Gap better has been missed. The average pay increase for the 4400 workers is about 21 pence per hour.

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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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Joint Trade Unions’ Pay Claim

Our position for the next pay award

Following talks with our sister unions covering workers in Local Authorities, a joint pay claim was submitted to COSLA on 16th December 2020.

This is simply the beginning of the negotiation process that will lead, eventually, to a new pay settlement for Local Government workers (excluding Teachers, Chief Officers and, in some councils, Craft Workers) beyond 31st March 2021.

Negotiations are conducted through the Scottish Joint Council (SJC), the negotiating body that consists of: CoSLA staff, HR officers (representing council administrations), Councillors from different authorities (representing the political side), GMB, Unison, and, Unite the Union representing the workers.

Unite members will recall that our pay claim proposals were developed from the feedback you gave in a survey which was carried out in September/October. The joint claim is similar to this.

The Joint Trade Unions demand:

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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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