Branch members joined UNISON colleagues from other local government branches to lobby the CoSLA leaders’ meeting on Friday 30th November, calling for a decent pay rise and parity with teachers.
This followed on from the massive rejection of the 3% pay offer in the consultative ballot by all three unions, UNISON, Unite and the GMB.
The unions had already written to every council leader across Scotland in advance of the meeting of COSLA Leaders, stating: “There is now a very real possibility of widespread industrial action across the Local Government workforce unless you take measures to improve the current offer. We would urge you to do so”.
They have also sent a joint letter to the leader of every local authority across Scotland urging them to improve the pay offer to council workers and avert strike action across local government.
All three unions will now proceed to organising statutory industrial action ballots unless the current offer is improved. There was no progress in talks at a meeting of the Trade Unions and COSLA on the 9th November but it was agreed that a tripartite meeting – involving COSLA, the Trade Unions and the Scottish Government, may assist in exploring the urgent need for an injection of additional funding for local government from the Scottish Government and this is in the process of being arranged.
Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government (Bargaining) said: “COSLA Leaders have the power to prevent mass industrial action across the local government workforce by listening to, and addressing, the genuine concerns of our members. We would urge them to do so and to improve the current pay offer.”
During the run up to Christmas, UNISON will be running a Christmas Card Campaign.
Steve Gray, Branch Chair said, “We will be out and about talking to members – asking you to complete a christmas card and send it to Derek McKay, Scottish Finance Minister.
“We will be asking him to remember local government workers and to step in to enable our workers to have a fair pay settlement.”
UNISON will also lobby the Scottish Parliament on 12 December, asking Derek McKay to remember local government workers in his scottish budget and will continue fighting for your pay into the new year.
Steve added, “It is extremely important that, if we do need to ballot you again in the future, you complete your ballot paper. We have to deliver a 50% turnout due to the Trade Union Act.
“It is YOUR PAY and you MUST VOTE and have your say.”