UNISON Aberdeenshire Branch
UPDATES ON ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL SINGLE
The branch supports members as many appeal
Following the implementation of single status many of our members
have appealed because they are unhappy with their new mappings.
The closing date for appeals was 30th September 2007. A briefing
has been sent to all members with further advice and to update you
on the appeals process.
The branch organised training on Single Status Appeals for Branch
Officers, Stewards and Activists. This was held in December. Click
here if you want to know more. Further training is planned.
Please contact the resource centre at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to book a place.
In August, the branch arranged a number of well attended "surgeries"
to provide advice and support to members who wished to appeal. Many
of you took up the opportunity to come along and speak to Branch
Officers about the appeals process and other issues of concern.
Do you have an equal pay claim?
pay claims must be lodged within 6 months (minus one day) of any
change of contract. If you think you may have claim or would like
to discuss it further please contact the branch as soon as possible.
You can email the branch office at email@example.com
or telephone 01224 620624.
What is equal pay? Click here for
Single status implementation
Single status was implemented in Aberdeenshire council as from
1st July 2007, backdated to 1st Jan 2007. The council has sent out
new contracts and information packs to all staff.
There are still one or two problems to iron out and UNISON is still
in negotiations with the Council about these issues. This includes
ensuring that there are no implications for pensions; and clarifying
and improving the criteria for shift allowances to ensure consistency
As members will know, the council issued statutory notice letters
to all employees advising of the changes to their contract which
took place on 1st July.
The council has told us that those posts which had not been mapped
into the new structure have now been analysed and that the employees
concerned have been told of their mapping. We understand that employees
in posts where the mapping was changed as a result of the consultation
process have now been advised of their new mapping. If you are one
of these employees and have not yet been mapped, please let us know.
We were disappointed to learn that back money due to many of our
members, which will be backdated to Jan 2007, will not be
paid to all staff in July, as had been indicated by the Chief Executive.
This is because of the huge complexities of calculating the amounts
due, and the need to do this on a case by case basis. The council
has said that it aims to have back moneys paid to most employees
by end-Oct 2007 and the rest by the end of the year.
An appeals procedure has been agreed by the trade unions and the
council. This was issued to members with your letters about what
single status will mean for you.
The agreement on single status
UNISON along with representatives of the GMB and T&G met
with management on 21st Feb 2007 and agreed to move to the implementation
phase of single status. A Joint Press
Statement was issued after the meeting. The branch sent out
a single status update to all members in
local government on 22 Feb 2007.
Aberdeenshire UNISON members had voted in January 2007 to accept
the council's single status proposals. 57% of those of you who returned
your ballot papers voted to accept the single status scheme on a
return of 48%. Click here for the full
"Our members have expressed a clear position on the proposals and
we are encouraged at the high response level showing how important
this issue is to members. We had presented the proposal to our members
as the best that could be obtained by negotiation. While a clear
majority are in favour a significant proportion of our members were
unhappy with the proposals and remain to be convinced," said Bob
Revie, Branch Secretary at the time.
"UNISON will take this result and enter into discussions with
Aberdeenshire Council to reach agreement on Single Status implementation,"
Bob added. "The other Trade Unions involved (GMB and T&G) have also
been balloting their membership within the Council, and the unions
will need to reflect jointly on all the results."
At first GMB and T&G members both voted to reject the single
status proposals. However, following further consultation on a final
revised offer (see below) members of these unions voted to accept
At a previous meeting held on 6th Feb between the Joint Unions
and the council, the council made a final revised offer on the terms
and conditions package. This will involve a change to proposals
for night working and will extend the time period during which the
enhanced rate of time and a third is payable by 2 hours ie from
11pm to 8am rather than 11pm to 6am. The council made it clear that
this was their final offer. The GMB and T&G agreed to consult
with their members on this basis.
A joint press statement was issued after the meeting.
The previous meeting between the Joint Unions and Council representatives
had been held on 23rd January. The meeting
was productive and looked at ways to take things forward. A
joint statement was issued following the meeting.
The run up to the ballot
UNISON and the other trade unions, balloted members on the council's
single status proposals the first week in January 2007.
Talks with the council about Single Status and Job Evaluation had
ended and branch negotiators believed that the proposals on the
table were the best that could be achieved through negotiation.
The pros and cons to the council's proposed scheme were put to members
without recommendation to let you have your say. A covering
letter and briefing informed
members what the branch negotiators considered to be the good and
the not so good aspects of the scheme.
See the links on the right for the latest bulletins.
The ballot followed an extensive consultation process by the council
and UNISON. Last year, when the council put out their Single Status
proposals for consultation, UNISON held 7 Single Status meetings
across Aberdeenshire to hear members' views and to offer advice.
Click here to see members' responses which
UNISON has collated and passed on to the Council.
The consulation period lasted until 27th October 2006. During this
time members gave the council their feedback by phoning the helpline,
by meeting with Personnel and by returning the questionnaire in
the Single Status Pack.
The council has considered all the feedback and the representations
from UNISON and the other trade unions and this has informed the
final proposals which have now been tabled. If your mapping was
changed as a result of this the council will have written to you
to let you know.
What is Single Status?
In 1999 members voted in a ballot for a new deal with councils
across Scotland called ‘Single Status’. The aim was to address pay
inequality and get a fairer single pay structure for all staff.
Every job in local government is to be evaluated through a job evaluation
The scheme would assess jobs equally and fairly on agreed and transparent
criteria. You know why your grade is what it is. It creates one
pay scale for all staff, doing away with the historic manual and
Negotiations are very complicated and things change quickly. Please
check back for the latest briefings
Job evaluation is designed to ensure equal pay. Under the new Gender
Equality Duty, which comes into force in April 2007, public
authorities will have to have an equal pay policy and a way to make
sure that new laws and policies have the same impact on men and