Wednesday 14 October 2015

Local govt members vote to accept two year pay offer

1 October 2015: Over 88% of Scottish local government members voting in their pay ballot have accepted a two year offer with a new Living Wage deal. Staff will now get a 1.5% rise from 1 April 2015 and 1% from April 2016.

Importantly, the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.85 per hour will be put in place before the 1.5% rise, making it £7.97 an hour.

And in April 2016, the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended figure of the Living Wage Foundation, again before the 1% rise. There will also be talks on removing the pay points below the Living Wage level.

Negotiators succeeded in getting the initial offer of two years at 1.25% front-loaded to 1.5% in 2015 which is above inflation and slightly increases the value of the 1% in 2016. In August inflation was 0.0% on the Consumer Prices Index and 1.1% on the Retail Prices Index.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Pay offer made - ballot starts 2 September. Make sure you vote

1.5% this year, 1% next year and new deal on Living Wage

UNISON and the other SJC trade unions have been in negotiations with the Scottish Employers for a number of months on the issue of pay. We submitted a claim in November last year, the headline of which was an increase of £1 per hour. Unfortunately we were unable to convince the employers to make a flat rate increase in this pay round. It was also the case that the employers were prepared to offer an increased ‘pot of money’ if the trade unions were able to agree to a two year pay settlement. That being the case the final offer from the employers is as follows;

A pay agreement which covers the period from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2017
2015 -2016. As of 1st April 2015, the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.85ph will be applied, following which there will be an increase of 1.5% on all spinal column points. This would achieve a Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.97ph
2016 – 2017. As of 1st April 2016, the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended figure of the Living Wage Foundation, following which there will be an increase of 1% on all spinal column points.

A commitment from the employers to examine the feasibility of a ‘flat rate’ settlement in future pay rounds subject to the trade unions making such a claim.
The Scottish Local Government Committee have carefully considered this offer and whilst they recognise that it does not meet the terms of our claim, it is their view that further negotiations will not improve this offer.

It is also noted that the employers have committed to discussions with the trade unions commencing in September 2015, regarding the full consolidation of the living wage and the deletion of spinal column points below the level of the living wage

It is therefore their view that this offer is the best that can be achieved by negotiation and that the recommendation to members is to ACCEPT.

A full consultation with members will now take place. This will be in the form of a consultative ballot sent to members' home addresses. The ballot will open on 3rd September and close at 12 noon on 25th September 2015. Members are urged to vote in this ballot so we get a clear view from you on the offer.

Any member who does not receive a ballot paper please email the following address before 22nd September

Monday 22 June 2015

Local Gov pay negotiations continue

Negotiations with the Scottish employers continued last week. A final offer was not determined. The employers are still sticking to the 2.5% over two years proposal whilst the union side are pressing for more.

Between these two positions we are asking for consideration of 'front loading' of the offer. This means that if it is 2.5% then we would like to see the first year being greater, eg instead of it being 1.25% in each year it would be better for workers if it was 1.5% this year and 1% next year.

We are also looking at further advance on the Living Wage and confirmation that the employers will agree to uprate this each year, at least, in line with the Living Wage Foundation decisions each year.

Further discussions will take place on the 23 June with a final offer either then or the following week. Unions will then consult members on the offer.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

21 October local government strike suspended

#councilfairpay Following a meeting of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee today, the committee has taken the decision to suspend strike action planned for 21 October and consult our members on new proposals put forward by the Scottish Employers (CoSLA).

The proposals concentrate on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.

The view of the Scottish Local Government Committee is that these proposals represent a significant change to the current award. In line with our agreed procedures UNISON is consulting members on the revised pay offer from the employers and a full consultative ballot will now take place.

The ballot will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.

More details to follow...

Monday 13 October 2014

Support council strike on 21 October, says Prentis

#councilfairpay Message from Dave Prentis, General Secretary: UNISON members in local government in Scotland have voted to take strike action due to the employers ignoring the agreed bargaining machinery, the imposition of a pay award and their failure to negotiate on UNISON’s pay claim. The first strike day will be Tuesday 21 October.

I am writing to ask you to take part in the strike and send a strong message to the employers that you will not accept the employer’s behaviour and that you want fair pay. UNISON’s aim is to get an improved offer for you.

Taking strike action might seem like a big step, especially if it is your first time. However, I would urge you to take part, alongside thousands of your fellow UNISON members. If you face hardship from taking strike action, you can seek help from UNISON.

The actions of the employers in ignoring the agreed bargaining machinery and imposing a pay award in April this year is unacceptable and threatens the future of collective bargaining in Scotland on pay. The 1% award imposed on 1 April this year does not keep pace with price increases and is in effect a pay cut. We have been forced to take action as a last resort after all attempts to negotiate have so far failed. We want to get the employers back to the negotiating table with us, but at the moment they are not prepared to do that.

Saturday 4 October 2014

UNISON Scotland: Council pay action plans

UNISON Scotland: Council pay action plans: #councilfairpay Following the ballot vote for action, UNISON Scottish local government leaders have sought authority from the union's industrial action committee for a programme of industrial action over the coming months to include a day of action followed by a programme of geographical/selective action. Branch consultation on action will kick off next week.

UNISON lead negotiator Dougie Black said: "Members are angry about the way they have been treated. Their pay being eroded whilst they take the brunt of the cuts. We urge employers to come back to the negotiating table."

Check back here for updates.

Monday 29 September 2014

It's a YES for action on pay

#councilfairpay Scottish local government UNISON members have voted Yes for action on pay. The ballot which closed at lunchtime today has delivered a Yes vote for industrial action by 53.5% to 46.5%. UNISON Scotland's Local Government Committee will meet in Glasgow on Friday 3rd October to discuss the way forward and a full update with follow then.