Below are links to some of the key media reactions to the 4th August announcement by Unite the Union that City of Edinburgh Council Waste Workers will take strike action during the Edinburgh festivals.
Unite members in Schools and Waste across the country have sent a resounding message to councils, cosla and that scottish government that they will not sit back and accept the attempt to push them into poverty through a much lower than inflation pay increase.
These are the workers who kept our country going throughout the pandemic. Those who were clapped on Thursday evenings until people got bored of it.
They are the School Cleaners (the Infection Control Teams), the Refuse Collection, Civic Site and Street Cleansing Workers (the Disease Prevention Units), the School Janitors (the Security and Safety Squads), the School Caterers (the Health and Nutrition Corps), the School Administrators (the Information Security Sections), the Pupil Support Workers and School Technicians (the Education Enablement Divisions).
They are also amongst the lowest paid workers in local government and consequently some of the most acutely affected by the Cost of Living Crisis.
Across the country Unite members in 26 of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities, including our own council, have sent this message. See the Unite the Union main website for more details.
Our branch message to these Key Worker Heroes of the pandemic must be that we all support them in the action that they take as they are the Heroes of our pay dispute and will press the point to the scottish government, cosla and our council that council workers must be given A DECENT PAY RISE.
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.
Please see below for the notice of ballot for Edinburgh and information on what this means to you.
Notice to members of forthcoming industrial action ballot
The Union intends to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the following members: All members within the Waste Department and all members within the School Workplaces.
Voting papers will be sent out on the 10th of June 2022.
If you have not received a voting paper by the 24th of June, you should contact your workplace reps or the Edinburgh Office IMMEDIATELY.
The names of the members to be balloted are available by contacting your workplace reps or the Edinburgh Office. If you are entitled to vote in the ballot please check that you are on the list and that your address is accurately recorded.
The COSLA Living Crisis—making the cost of living crisis hit council workers harder!
Within the next couple weeks, Unite are posting an industrial action ballot to all
waste and cleansing workers
staff in schools and early years—such as cleaners, janitors, pupil support assistants, early years practitioners etc.
If you work in either group, please ensure your job title, workplace and contact details are correct by checking MyUnite or calling the office on 0131 556 9676.
The pay offer
COSLA have dug their heels in with a 2% offer. Our pay claim is for £3,000 based on a 35 hour week, rather than the COSLA standard 37 hour week. Read the full pay claim.
Spreading the word
Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy highlighting the pathetic pay offer COSLA have proposed for Council workers. COSLA are proposing that council workers accept a 2% pay rise, which, in the face of record levels of inflation, hitting 11% last week, is a massive pay cut.