Argyll and Bute UNISON achieve end to ‘zero hours’ contracts

Date: Friday 29 January 2016

Against a background of budget cuts and job losses UNISON, the union for council workers in Argyll and Bute has negotiated an end to the use of ‘zero hours’ contracts by the local authority.  Through doggedly pursuing the issue of zero hours contracts through negotiations the local UNISON branch has secured a commitment to see them removed from Argyll and Bute Council for 1 February 2016.

Zero hours contracts mean staff don’t know from one week to the next what they will be working. This creates huge financial pressure and anxiety for workers. UNISON highlighted to the council that through better planning and organisation staff could and should be given contracts. The main beneficiary of this will be part time low paid women working in the council’s home care services – but zero hours contracts will go right across the authority.

Marion Power, UNISON branch secretary today said

“After years of negotiations it’s great to see an end to zero hours contracts in Argyll and Bute, this is a real victory for our members, especially the many low paid women who will benefit from guaranteed hours going forward.”

Catriona Graham, UNISON Community Services Convenor today said

“Home care is a demanding and responsible job. Our members do it with tremendous care, compassion and respect. It is only right that they should have their commitment matched by having their hours guaranteed in their contract.”

Looking to the broader cuts situation Marion Power continued “These are grim times for local government and its workers but this achievement shows that unions make a real difference. UNISON will continue to stand up for our members against cuts and oppose any compulsory redundancies. Austerity is a failed policy, there’s plenty of wealth and our children and the vulnerable should not be paying the price for the unfairness of its distribution.”

Notes to editors:

  • UNISON is the largest union in Argyll and Bute Council;
  • Marion Power can be contacted on 07717 686441;
  • Catriona Graham can be contacted on 07990 538597;
  • Simon Macfarlane, Regional Organiser, UNISON can be contacted on 07703 194132.