Local government workers advised to reject new pay offer, say UNISON

Local government workers are being advised to reject a new pay offer in a consultative ballot which will be launched in the next few days. UNISON Scotland local government committee made the decision at their meeting this afternoon (Monday).

COSLA, the local government employers, have today (Monday) made a 5 per cent pay offer for all workers from this April, with an additional increase from 1 January 2024.

The additional increase is grade dependent with the lowest paid being offered an additional 2.5 per cent, middle grades being offered an additional 1.5 per cent and the highest paid being offered an additional 1 per cent, from next January.

The offer also proposes a reference group of COSLA, unions and others to support a move towards a £15 minimum rate of pay for the Scottish Local Government workforce. However, it has no detail on how or when this might be delivered.

UNISON Scotland head of local government, Johanna Baxter said: “We will consult our local government members with a recommendation that they reject this offer. It falls short of the rate of inflation, is less than others in the public sector have been offered over the past year, and would in effect be a pay cut.  Whilst the offer contains warm words about reaching a minimum underpinning rate of pay of £15 per hour it contains no detail at all on when or how this would be delivered.

Local Government cannot continue to be the poor relations of the public sector with councils continuously facing unpalatable choices between decent pay and jobs. Last year, the Scottish Government agreed they had a role to play in this, given they are the biggest funder of local government.  We urge COSLA and the Scottish Government to get round the table to discuss this as a matter of urgency.”

Notes for the editor:

Summary of pay offer, effective from 1 April 2023

– A 5% uplift on all Spinal Column Points (SCP)

Effective from 1 January 2024

  • An additional £0.45 on SCP2 to SCP18 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, with smoothing consisting of slightly
  • higher uplifts applied to SCP19, 20, and 21.
  • An additional 1.5% up on SCP44 to SCP64.
  • An additional 1% on SCP 65 and above

UNISON contacts:

  • Johanna Baxter, head of local government: 07817120894
  • Danny Phillips, media officer:  07717715277 / 07944664110