Local Government Pay 2023/24

Scottish Local Government member in Scotland have been sent an email link for their Pay Ballot April 2023. You can only vote with your unique email link.

Your UNISON Scotland Local Government Committee recommend you vote to REJECT this pay offer and vote Yes, to take industrial action up to and including strike action.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What am I voting on?

The 2023 pay offer received from COSLA on 3rd April 2023. You can read the full detail of the offer here.

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2. What are we being offered?

The offer is made up of two parts:

  • a 5% full year increase on all Spinal Column Points (SCP) from 1 April 2023
  • plus an additional, grade dependent, increase from 1 January 2024.

This additional amount would be:

  • An additional £0.45 on SCP2 to SCP18 (annual full-time salary of circa £20,933) and the underpinning Scottish Local Government Living Wage rate. This will raise the SLGLW by £0.99 over the course of the financial year.
  • An additional 2.5% on SCP19 to SCP43 (annual full-time salary of circa £28,862), with smoothing consisting of slightly higher uplifts applied to SCP19, 20, and 21.
  • An additional 1.5% up on SCP44 to SCP64 (annual full-time salary of circa £38,585).
  • An additional 1% on SCP 65 and above.

3. Why are the Local Government Committee recommending rejection of the offer?

UNISON local government committee recommend you vote to REJECT this offer because:

  • Falls short of the Joint Trade Union’s claim, which was submitted on 26th January 2023.
  • Falls far short of the current rate of inflation, which remains above 10%. It would therefore amount to a real-terms pay cut for our members during the current cost of living crises and as such will plunge more of them into debt.
  • For those on the lowest pay, falls short of the offer made to local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Has a cost envelope which falls short of that which has applied to other areas of the public sector.
  • Fails to address other items contained within our claim including any real proposals to move to a minimum rate of pay of £15 per hour.

4. What did we ask for?

You can read a full copy of the pay claim which was submitted here:

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We asked for:

  • A settlement that runs for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024
  • An increase of 12% or £4,000 whichever is the greater to all spinal column points (based on a nominal 35 hour working week). This would equate to a £2.20 increase on the hourly rate.
  • An underpinning minimum rate of pay of £15 per hour.
  • An increase to the mileage rate to ensure parity with NHS colleagues.
  • A no compulsory redundancy agreement.
  • Completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, of professional fees (beyond the SSSC fees which are now paid for local government workers) incurred by members in the course of their employment.
  • Early completion of the review, established as part of our 2021 settlement, on how we achieve a no detriment reduction in the working week to enable members to achieve a better work-life balance.
  • Agreement to change the national calculator for the normal working week to 35 hours.
  • No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.
  • Early commencement of negotiations with a clear expectation of settlement implementation by 1 April review date.

5. Does industrial action mean strike action?

Not necessarily – industrial action can cover a number of things including working to rule and strike action. The Local Government Committee would review the response to this consultation and the strength of feeling expressed by members and take a view on next steps based on that and a number of other factors.

6. If we vote Yes when will be taking industrial action?

This is only a consultative ballot at this stage – we hope that by indicating your willingness to take some form of action the employer considers their position and puts forward an improved offer. If the employer’s position remains unchanged following the outcome of this ballot your local government committee may decide that we move to a formal industrial action ballot.

We would be required by law to hold a formal industrial action ballot before taking action. The legislation governing how and when trade unions conduct formal industrial action ballots is very strict – it means they can only be held by post and requires us to achieve a 50% turnout of those balloted with a majority of those voting in favour of taking action. Only when, and if, those requirements are met would we be able to take action.

7. What happens if we say we are not prepared to take action?

We would convey that message to your employer. However indicating to the employer that you are not prepared to take action to challenge their decisions is unlikely to encourage them to put forward an improved offer.

8. What about people who aren’t UNISON members – can they vote?

New members joining UNISON before the 18 April 2023 will get a vote in this ballot. If they provide an e-mail address to the union when they join they will be sent an e-mail with a link to their ballot after on 20th April 2023.

9. I haven’t received my vote – where is it

If you’ve not received an e-mail with your voting link please, in the first instance, check your junk/spam folders. If its not there and you still have not received it log in to MyUnison https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/ to check that the details we hold for you are up to date or please contact your branch https://branches.unison.org.uk/ or call 0800 0 857 857

10. I don’t have an e-mail address on your system/my e-mail address has recently changed – how do I get a vote?

As long as your membership records are updated before 18 April 2023 you will receive an e-mail with your voting link. To update your details call 0800 0 857 857 or log in to MyUnison at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/

11. I accidentally voted Yes when I meant to vote No (or vice versa) – can I change my vote?

No. You should read the e-mail and ballot link you receive carefully before casting your vote. The vote is anonymous and the system quite rightly therefore does not allow us to make changes to it.

12. What else can I do to support UNISON’s campaign?

There are a number of things you can do to help strengthen the union’s hand in negotiations:

  • Make sure you use your vote!
  • Share this information on your social networks & encourage your fellow members to vote.
  • Recruit your colleagues to the union and urge them to vote.
  • Get involved in the work of your local UNISON branch.