UNISON head of local government Johanna Baxter, gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament Committee on local government funding, this week.
She said: “We know that council tax hits people on the lowest incomes hardest. That point has been recognised by political parties across the political spectrum, given the numerous commitments that have been made to replace council tax. Low-paid local government workers should not have to pay for their own salary increase through their council tax.
We have had numerous disputes with COSLA and the Scottish Government, in that when we go to COSLA seeking a decent pay rise for our members, it says that it does not have adequate funding or flexibility in its funding from the Scottish Government to enable it to fund a pay rise, and when we take the argument to the Scottish Government and suggest that it should give local government the funding and flexibility to fund a pay rise, it says that local government pay is nothing to do with the Government and is a matter for COSLA. Fundamentally, Unison believes that our members should no longer be used as a political football between COSLA and the Scottish Government.”