Campaigns News Pay

School staff members look out for your purple ballot and please vote

The branch is asking all our members in schools to watch out for their strike ballot (which will arrive in a purple envelope in the next few days) and make sure you return it before the closing date of Friday 25 August.

UNISON Scotland has launched an industrial action ballot of 30,000 school staff in every local authority in Scotland.

The ballot is over a pay dispute for all council workers. The union is asking members to vote YES for action. If members vote to strike there could be mass school closures across Scotland in September.

Earlier this year, UNISON consulted its entire local government membership (84,000) on COSLA’s pay offer. This was a 5% increase from April 2023, plus an additional increase that varied depending on an individual’s salary payable from January 2024. The union’s members voted overwhelmingly (87%) to reject  this.

Nine in ten (90%) of those who rejected the offer also voted in favour of taking some form of strike action to try to secure an improved wage increase.

Waste and recycling workers in Stirling, Perth and Kinross have already voted to take industrial action. They will be going out for four days from 10-13 August. School staff are now being asked to vote in the dispute. The union will decide on whether to ballot additional groups of workers in the coming months.

Inez Kirk
Inez Kirk

Branch secretary and a member of the joint trade unions negotiating team, Inez Kirk said: “COSLA’s offer falls short of UNISON’s pay claim, it is also less than the offer made to the lowest paid local government staff south of the border. And it would be a real-terms pay cut during the cost of living crisis.

“Despite efforts to move negotiations along, we’re now at an impasse. COSLA has refused to improve its pay offer, which UNISON members overwhelmingly rejected. It says it doesn’t have the cash to offer more but is also refusing to ask the Scottish government for additional funding.

“Council and school staff are fed up.  All school staff should look out for their ballots, which will arrive in purple envelopes, vote and post back as soon as possible.”