Local government pay campaign 2024/25

Cosla, the local government employer, has made a two-stage offer which runs for 18 months, which gives a 2.2% increase for the first six months and 2% for the remaining 12 months of the deal, ending in September next year.

UNISON local government committee has decided that this offer falls short and is recommending staff vote to reject it. Your e-vote on council pay was emailed to you on Thursday 30 May. Ballot closes at 5pm, Thursday 13 June 2024

UNISON is calling for an improvement to pay that fairly rewards council staff for the essential services they provide and starts to reverse years of pay cuts they have experienced. See below for our full claim.

Read our press release here


thumbnail of 24-05-23 SJC Pay OfferThe key points of the pay offer:

  • 2.2% for six months – from 1st April 2024 until 30th September 2024.
  • Change pay implementation date for future years – meaning future pay settlements would run from October to September.
  • 2% for 12 months – from 1st October 2024 until 30th September 2025
  • The working groups on the roadmap to £15 per hour; reduction in the working week; and professional fees will continue.

Ballot closes at 5pm, Thursday 13 June 2024


E-vote on council pay – Vote REJECT

The consultative ballot on this pay offer will run from the 30 May 2024 and close on 13 June 2024. Please look out for your unique email. UNISON local government committee is recommending staff vote to REJECT.

“This offer falls significantly short of our pay claim of 7% (or £1.60, which ever was the greater) and comes at a time when MSP’s and MP have been awarded 6.7% and 5% respectively.

This highlights just how undervalued local government workers are. UNISON is recommending that members VOTE TO REJECT this offer in our consultative ballot”.

Colette Hunter, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s local Government Committee

Write to your councillor about local government pay

© Julie Broadfoot

“Staff work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, clean, and accessible. However, their pay has fallen by 25% since 2010, while the cost of living continues to rise. UNISON is calling for an improvement to pay that fairly rewards council staff.”

Email your local councillor today using our tool and urge them to support this vital pay rise for council workers.

Pay Claim

“This offer falls significantly short of our pay claim of 7% (or £1.60, which ever was the greater) and comes at a time when MSP’s and MP have been awarded 6.7% and 5% respectively.

This highlights just how undervalued local government workers are. UNISON is recommending that members VOTE TO REJECT this offer in our consultative ballot”.

“This offer falls significantly short of our pay claim of 7% (or £1.60, which ever was the greater) and comes at a time when MSP’s and MP have been awarded 6.7% and 5% respectively.

This highlights just how undervalued local government workers are. UNISON is recommending that members VOTE TO REJECT this offer in our consultative ballot”.

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. UNISON 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

  • 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.”

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