UNISON Scotland along with Unite and GMB submitted a joint pay claim to COSLA on 18 January calling for a ‘fair and decent’ pay increase to make up for decades of cuts and to recognise the vital role these workers have played during the pandemic.
The claim calls for:
• A £3,000 flat rate increase to all spinal column points (based on a 35 hr working week).
• A minimum hourly rate of £12 per hour.
• All allowances to be automatically uprated in line with October inflation rates.
• Payment of all professional fees incurred by members in the course of their employment.
• A no-detriment reduction in the working week to 35 hours.
• Agreement of home/hybrid working guidance.
• A Job evaluation review of all roles that have changed during the pandemic.
• No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.
• Fair funding for local government to protect jobs and services.
Inez kirk, branch secretary and one of the Scotland union negotiators, said: “Youth workers, care workers, refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, community workers, street cleaners and so many more have gone above and beyond during the pandemic keeping schools open, supporting our NHS, ensuring communities are safe and providing essential services often at risk to their own health.
“After years of declining pay and cuts to local government budgets it is time for COSLA and the Scottish Government to get round the table to ensure sufficient funding is available to give our dedicated local government workers the fair and decent pay rise they deserve.
“With 55% of local government workers earning below £25k per annum, low pay remains a significant issue and this year’s settlement must not only protect workers from steep increases to everyday costs, like energy and gas, but also prevent pay from falling back further and should start to reverse the many years of real-terms cuts to wages.
“Industrial action was only narrowly averted in the last pay round. This years negotiations need to progress at pace to ensure we don’t end up in the same position again this year. ”