Local government pay campaign 2024/25

UNISON Scotland has called for a above-inflation pay increase for local government workers as it submitted its 2024/25 joint pay claim.

The unions – UNISON and Unite – submitted the claim earlier this year, although COSLA leaders are unlikely to respond before their budget allocations are finalised. UNISON has made it clear we want a deal agreed as close to the April 1, 2024 implementation date as possible.

Local government workers are continuing to struggle with the cost-of-living crisis and UNISON has warned there is a real risk that workers will find better-paid, less-stressful work elsewhere if their pay continues to lose its value.

UNISON says that an above-inflation pay increase is the only way to maintain the staff levels necessary to deliver services to the public, looking after the most vulnerable, giving children the education they need and keeping neighbourhoods safe.

The key elements of UNISON’s claim are:

  • A one-year settlement that runs for the period 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.
  • For those on the lowest pay – an above-inflation increase in line with the aspiration, agreed with UNISON in November 2023, to achieve implementation of a minimum rate of pay for all local government workers of £15 per hour by 1 April 26.
  • An increase of 7% to all spinal column points (or an increase of £1.60 to the hourly rate whichever is greater) and related allowances.
  • Urgent progress to be made on how we achieve a no detriment reduction in the working week to enable members to achieve a better work-life balance.
  • A review of the scope and level of the Distant Islands Allowance.
  • No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.

You can read the claim in full here.

Continue to check this campaign page for further updates on our local government pay campaign.

Lilian Macer, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said: “An above-inflation wage rise is the only way to maintain the staff levels necessary to deliver services to the public. Unless councils and schools can pay competitive rates, employees will find better-paid, less-stressful work elsewhere and new recruits will be thin on the ground.

“Our members tell us how every day how they are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and how they are struggling to make ends meet. Local government workers must be properly rewarded for the vital services they provide.”

Union and Cosla joint letter

thumbnail of 24.03.20 -SJC Joint Letter to Scottish Government -Funding for Pay Negotiations 2024-25UNISON have signed a joint letter with Cosla and other unions to the Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison MSP, saying it is clear to both employers and unions “that funding levels for councils have not kept pace with increased demand for services.”

They say “Local Government is facing a cut in real terms to both core revenue and capital budgets. As a proportion of funding allocated to the Scottish Budget, the percentage for local government has declined.”

And that “this is impacted by both the growing need of services due to demographic pressures and the ongoing cost of living crisis.”

It is in everyone’s interest to achieve a sustainable settlement on pay at the earliest opportunity. The letter states: “Scottish Local Government settlements must be sustainable alongside the significant budget challenges facing councils and it is vital that the approach to our workforce is fair, acknowledging the essential front-line services that are delivered every day.”