COSLA UNSPUN – Frequently Asked Questions about the local government pay dispute

Who are UNISON fighting for?

This dispute is about getting a fair pay settlement for ALL staff. Most local government staff are paid below the average Scottish wage of £33k. We are fighting for a fair settlement for everyone including a firm commitment to a minimum wage in local government of £15ph.

Won’t most people get a £2000 pay rise?

No. COSLA are talking about a £2000 uplift – but that is only for people who are on the very lowest pay point AND working 37 hours a week. Most local government staff aren’t on the lowest pay point – and most of those that are don’t work 37 hours a week so won’t get the full amount.

Is this an inflation busting pay rise?

This is a BELOW inflation increase. COSLA are moving the goalposts to conceal the reality. This deal was meant to be done, dusted and in wages by April – then inflation in past year had been 11.4%. Inflation has slowed a little since then – but prices are still going up. A pay increase based on current rate of inflation is a real terms cut.

How much will I get?

Well we can’t be absolutely sure. In a break with normal practice COSLA didn’t publish new pay scales along with the offer. That doesn’t fill us with confidence …

Aren’t COSLA promising a £15 per hour minimum?

Not now. They are saying they will come up with “a road map” to a minimum of £15ph. Previously they have set up working groups to reduce the working week and pay professional fees… you’ll have seen how far those have got. £15ph will need proposals and a budget – COSLA have come up with neither.

Does this recent offer put services and jobs at risk of further cuts?

The COSLA press release announcing the new offer stated, “No new money has been identified for this offer” and then says there “will be delays to programmes and projects within communities”. COSLA made it clear in meetings on 20th September that the result of this would be further cuts to services and jobs. The Scottish Government need to get involved and provide financial stability to local government to protect services and jobs.

A printable ( slightly expanded ) version of this page is below and  see also the mythbuster here

thumbnail of FAQs expanded on local government strikes.