Fund third sector organisations properly or risk a new wave of strikes, warns UNISON

UNISON Scotland has written to the Scottish government today (Friday) calling for an urgent funding injection for the third sector to allow workers to receive pay increases equal to their counterparts in local government.

UNISON, Scotland’s largest union, says workers in the third sector support some of the most vulnerable people in communities, yet many are on very low rates of pay.

Strike ballots have been taking place across the country and this week UNISON announced the consultative ballot results of two third sector organisations – Capability Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid. In both cases UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

UNISON says this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and warns more organisations will follow.

The union is calling on third sector employers to join their campaign in calling on the Scottish government for fair funding for the sector.

UNISON Scotland regional manager Peter Hunter said: “The sector is in crisis with staff leaving in droves in search of employment with better pay and working conditions. There are also thousands of people awaiting the care they deserve who continue to suffer as the workforce diminishes.

“Many third sector organisations, like Capability Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid, are reliant on the limited funds local authorities allocate to fund care in their areas – funding which has long been inadequate.

“This means third sector workers find themselves in a tussle between their employer, local councils and the Scottish government. These workers deserve better and, at the very least, the same pay as their counterparts in local government.

“These ballot results are just the tip of the iceberg and a wave of strikes could follow unless the Scottish government deliver fair work and funding to the third sector as a matter of urgency.”

Notes to editors:
UNISON is the public services union representing members in social care, local government, NHS, police staff, education, energy and utilities.
You can view the letter re: Capability Scotland here:

You can view the letter re: Glasgow Women’s Aid here:

For further information contact:
Peter Hunter, regional manager: 07740167777
Danny Phillips, communications officer, on 07944664110 / 07717715277