Trade union membership pays dividends for UNISON members around Scotland

Date: Mon 11 March 2013

UNISON said today that a living wage deal at one of Scotland’s biggest universities is the latest success in the union winning hundreds of thousands of pounds for members.

Low paid staff at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are celebrating the decision to start paying the Living Wage of £7.45 per hour.

Today’s news is the latest in a series of recent successes for the public services union, including on equal pay, other Living Wage agreements and nearly £1/2 million in personal injury settlements in the last three months.

There have also been numerous local branch successes such as £200,000 in back pay for catering workers in South Lanarkshire and millions of pounds in unpaid wages due to nursing and other staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Keith Galbraith, Branch Secretary at UWS, said: “We are very pleased the university agreed after we campaigned for the Living Wage.

“This will mainly benefit catering and cleaning staff and some library workers. It is excellent news for our members who work hard in contributing to the excellent student experience at UWS.”

Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary, said today: “We congratulate our branch at the University of the West of Scotland for this latest success.

“The Living Wage is a key part of UNISON’s bargaining strategy and each win like this helps low paid staff at a time when they really need it.

“Across the UK people are worried about their jobs. In Scotland we’ve lost 57,000 public sector jobs since the start of the Coalition Government’s austerity measures.

“Our members know that when public services are under unprecedented attack from Government, they need their union to stand up for them.

“We are today (Monday) launching a recruitment campaign highlighting that UNISON is essential cover when people are worrying about jobs and the impact of the cuts on their pay and conditions.”

UNISON branch successes include at South Lanarkshire Council where investigations after a member noticed problems with her pay found that 500 catering workers had lost out on an average two days pay per year for six years.

The total amount of back pay could be more than £200,000.

Branch Vice-Chair Tony Slaven said, “Members had queried the calculation before but it was only once UNISON took up the case that progress was made.

“Members from all over the council have been calling us to look into their own situation. We ‘re delighted to have been able to get members the money they are due for the days they worked.”


For information please contact:
Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary, 07939 143 355
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, UNISON Scotland, 0141 342 2877 or 078765 66978
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877 000
Notes to Editors

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in public services in Scotland.

2. UNISON’s other recent successes are featured in news releases on this website

3. UNISON’s recruitment campaign is being backed up by TV and newspaper advertising and a range of digital activity. The TV ad is here