Campaigns News

Branch to consult on pay action after employers reject claim

Fair PayUNISON Scotland Local Government leaders have announced a consultative ballot of members in local government on pay. The Branch will now ask our members whether to ballot for industrial action in support of an improved offer for this year, or whether the focus should be on building a campaign of action in support of our 2015/16 pay claim.

The ballot will run from 9th June and close on 7th July. It will be a postal ballot to members home addresses and UNISON’s Local Government Committee is urging members to support a full industrial action ballot.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee said, “The Scottish Employers have rejected UNISON’s 2014 Pay Claim for £1 per hour and consolidation of the living wage. It is their view that pay has been settled until April 2015. This is because, after UNISON members accepted a 1% rise in 2013 in good faith, the employers imposed 1% for 2013 and 2014.

“The decision to move to a consultative ballot was taken at a meeting of all council branches. We want all our members to have a say on how we go forward to challenge the erosion of our pay over the past four years.
Inez went on, “Many of our members are low paid and a 1% pay rise, even with the living wage and the Aberdeenshire uplift, is still paltry when you think that we live in one of the most expensive parts of Scotland. With the pay freeze, we have taken a 13% pay cut in real terms.”

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair added, “We will be holding meetings of members towards the end of June, setting out why we believe that our members are worth decent pay, and why that is important not just for us but for the local economy. As public sector workers we spend up to 90p of every pound we earn back in our local shops and businesses. And we pay our taxes!

“Day after day our members go out to work for the people of Aberdeenshire. No wonder that council says that staff are their greatest resource. There is no doubt that they are valued by the people they provide the services for. Now the employers should show how much they value their workforce by giving them a decent pay rise.”