UNISON Scotland is balloting all our members in schools, nurseries and waste management and is calling for a YES vote for strike action in support of a decent pay rise. The ballot opened on 10 June and close on 26 July.
Please watch out for your blue envelope, and please vote and return it immediately.
UNISON has sent notice to Aberdeenshire Council and all other local authorities of its intent to ballot for industrial action over the failure to make an acceptable pay offer for this year.
The union is conducting a disaggregated ballot, with individual ballots being held in each local authority at the same time with the same groups of workers.
Inez Kirk, Branch Secretary, who has written to all UNISON members, said: “We are balloting all school and nursery members and waste management members. These groups of workers have been selected to have the maximum effect, disrupting services to bring the employer back round the table. Scottish Government funds councils and we need them to increase funding to councils, so we also have to get their attention.
“We are calling on all members not included in this ballot to support your trade union colleagues who are being asked to take action on your behalf.
“We are asking you to promote this action and encourage those being balloted to return their papers. If you are in the position to, we ask you to consider donating to our strike fund, to ensure that workers taking action on behalf of all of us are not out of pocket.”
Inez added: “Our pay claim was submitted in February in good time for an offer to be made in time for the implementation date of 1st April.
“Only one offer has been made thus far, despite our rejection. This was 2% offered to all employees, absolutely ignoring that inflation is currently sitting at 9% and expected to increase further. This is a pay cut in real terms.
“There is no recognition of the cost-of-living crisis affecting everyone and certainly no recognition of the work our members have done and continue to do throughout the pandemic, supporting the public and ensuring the people who rely on our services were supported through one of the hardest times in their lives.
“This offer of 2% does not even come close to the Scottish Government Pay Policy, even so inflation has run rampant since that was developed.
“Remember councillors were given a 5.2% increase to their annual allowance,” said Inez.
“We are asking all school and early years staff to look out for your ballot paper in the post, it will be in a blue envelope.
“It is vitally important that you complete it and post it in the envelope provided.”
Trade unions are required by law to deliver a 50% response rate before we can take any action.
“By voting in the ballot and returning your paper you will be influencing your own pay and the pay of every other council worker for years to come. Every single ballot counts,” urged Inez.
“Even if you don’t want to support the action it is essential you return your ballot paper. We do not want to be short of the 50% by one vote.
“Remember it is time for every one of us to step up. To ensure that both Councils and Scottish Government: Recognise our workforce, Respect the work you do in supporting our communities, Reward you for the work you do.”