UNISON members urged to reject COSLA pay offer

UNISON members will be urged to reject a recently revised pay offer made by COSLA in a consultative ballot starting 16 October and running to the 7 November.

In a ballot of 80,000 members the trade union UNISON will be urging its members to reject the pay offer, which would see local government workers receive less in their pay packet than the teachers they work alongside.

Last year the Scottish Government agreed a bigger pay increase for teachers than that given to other local authority workers. The Scottish Government have again this year found additional money to improve Teachers pay but will not release additional funds to improve the pay of local government workers.

A summer of campaigning to improve the original pay offer saw thousands of UNISON members write to the Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney, and the President of COSLA, Cllr Alison Evison, seeking a commitment to parity in pay across the local government workforce.

Johanna Baxter, UNISON’s Head of Local Government (Bargaining), said: “Whilst we welcome any improvement to the original offer the revised offer falls short of addressing the serious issues of local pay across local government. It is disappointing that the employer chose not to engage the trade unions in meaningful negotiations before delivering their revised pay offer.

Local government staff deliver vital services educating children, caring for vulnerable people, cleaning and protecting our communities, and much more serving the people of Scotland. They are no less deserving of a decent pay increase than Teachers.

Our local services are delivered by ONE Team and if COSLA and the Scottish Government really value the contribution all their staff make they must ensure that everyone who works in local government gets a fair and decent pay rise.”

Mark Ferguson, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s Local Government Committee said: “A decade of austerity has led to staffing shortages in key areas of local government like social care and school staff. And many of our members are relying on foodbanks to get by. The Government and COSLA must do more to address these issues and we would urge them to get back around the table with the trade unions.”

Notes for editors:
UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scottish Local Government, representing 80,000 workers across Scotland.

UNISON’s consultative ballot of members runs from Tuesday 16 October till 5pm on Wednesday 7 November.

You can read a copy of the Joint Trade Unions pay claim here, the revised pay offer here, the trade union’s reasons for recommending rejection of the offer here, and all further correspondence with the employer and Scottish Government here.