UNISON to suspend schools and waste strikes and ballot members on improved council pay offer

After days of intense negations with the First Minster, the Deputy First Minister, Scottish Government and COSLA. UNISON has now secured an improved offer from COSLA that they will put to their members with a recommendation to accept.

The offer consists of:
• An increase of £2000 for those earning up to £20,500
• An increase of £1925 for those earning between £20,500 to £39,000
• A 5% increase for those earning between £39,000 to £60,000
• A maximum increase of £3k for those earning above £60,000
• The removal of SSSC fees where application (social care registration fees)
• 1 extra days annual leave
• All increases based on a 36hr week calculator

Three UNISON sticking points were overcome late last night with the First Minister. The first is that the pay envelope has been increased to £600m, second that the pay increases will be fully consolidated from the date of implementation and the calculations will be based on 36-hour week (rather 37hr wk).

In March council workers were offered a paltry 2%. In July they were offered 3.5%. And now, through the strength of UNISON’s collective industrial muscle and members willingness to stand up to their employers we have now achieved a total increase to the pay bill of 7.5%, with 8 in 10 UNISON workers getting increases of between 5 – 10 %

Johanna Baxter, UNISON head of local government said: “This offer is a victory for UNISON members. It has taken 8 months and the industrial might of UNISON members in schools and early years and waste and recycling workers to drag £600m out of Scottish government and COSLA and into the pockets hardworking people. COSLA originally offered 2%, then 3.5%, then 5% – we now we have £600m on the table, which is a 7.5% increase to the total pay bill and 87% of our council workers will receive fully consolidated increases between 5% to 10%.
UNISON want to get this money into the pockets of council workers now while we continue the campaign to support peoplep through the cost of living crisis,

It is only through the collective action of our members in school and early years staff threatening strike action and our waste and recycling workers taking action that we have forced these extra funds out of government and the employer. Our member’s message was clear and unequivocal – UNISON’s local government members are no longer prepared to be treated as the poor relations of the public sector. They will stand up, speak up and organise to win change together. There is always more to do but this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON Scotland local government committee said: “Do not underestimate the scale of the achievement for UNISON members. We have won significant increases from where we started 8 month ago. We have had to drag the employer to the table to even talk to us. This will go someway to help them through the cost of living crisis but by no means is the fight over. UNISON will now continue its campaign to improve pay and conditions for all workers in local government.”

• UNISON is the largest union in local government
• COSLA offer letter https://unison-scotland.org/wp-content/uploads/22-09-02-SJC-Letter-of-Offer.pdf

UNISON Contacts
• Johanna Baxter, head of local government: 07817 120894
• Danny Phillips, communications officer: 07944 664110 / 0771 7715277
• Trisha Hamilton, communications officer: 07943 507307