Branch Chair, Steve Gray and Communications Officer, Kate Ramsden met with our SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East on Friday 9th March 2018 to discuss fair funding for council services and council workers’ pay and a number of other issues affecting our members locally. Local Organiser, Ann McEvoy was also in attendance.
This followed on from our Valentine’s Card calling for fair funding for council services and council pay, which we handed in for local SNP MSPs.
Steve Gray said, “This was a constructive meeting.
“We pointed out the impact on council workers and services from years of cuts through UK Tory austerity but also Scottish government funding decisions.
“Gillian told us that the grant from the UK government was very challenging and difficult decisions had to be made. She confirmed that the Scottish budget was done and dusted and could offer no hope for an increased settlement to councils for pay.
“However, negotiations on this year’s pay claim continue with the employers through CoSLA.”
Kate Ramsden said, “Gillian was keen to know the impact of the Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) as she has heard good things from head teachers.
“We told her of UNISON’s concerns about bypassing the democratic process, about the criteria for spending this money and how this is going to be reviewed and evaluated.
“However we would like to hear from our members about how they see the impact and whether they think it will support pupil attainment, especially for those pupils with additional support needs.
“Gillian would be happy to hear from us when we have done this.”
Steve added, “Gillian listened very carefully to what we had to say about the impact of the budget settlement on our members and the services. She said that she would be happy to have updates and for us to bring any future concerns.
“We thanked her for her support for the branch position on the detention of Palestinian children and for the SNP government’s support for measures to end period poverty.
“We are pleased to have established a relationship with one of our local MSPs and although we won’t always see eye to eye, we look forward to continuing our contact.”