Friday, 2 December 2016

Unions submit one year £1000 flat rate pay claim for council staff

Negotiators from UNISON, Unite and the GMB have jointly submitted a one year pay claim of £1000 flat rate for all staff for 2017-18.

The unions have also called for the continued uprating of the Scottish Living Wage, due to rise from £8.25 to £8.45 from April 2017. And they will press for the development of a pay strategy to identify and make good the imbalance in pay caused by the below inflation pay awards of recent years.

Lead negotiator and UNISON officer, Dougie Black said, "The trade union side believes that this claim is realistic and fair. We hope that the employers will engage in constructive talks with us so that we can reach an early settlement."

Mark Ferguson, Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee added, "The emplyers have already agreed to fully consolidate the Scottish Living Wage within a three year period so they will need to do that by 1st April 2017.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

St Andrews Day March and Rally 2016 - Celebrating the multicultural voices of the North East of Scotland

Inez Teece marches with the branch banner
The branch joined hundreds of people from many different ethnic backgrounds - trade unionists, activists, politicians and citizens - as they came together at this year’s St Andrews Day March and Rally in Aberdeen.

This was a celebration of diversity in the North East of Scotland and the marchers gave a clear message that racism and intolerance is not welcome here.

The branch was proud to donate to the cost of a bus to bring the new Syrian Scots from Inverurie to the march.

The event was organised once again by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, this year in partnership with #WeAreAberdeen, a group which has been set up to combat growing racism and intolerance in the wake of the Brexit campaign.

Carrying colourful banners and placards, the marchers were upbeat and joyful as they strode along the aptly named Union Street behind the stirring music of the Granite City Pipes and Drums Youth Band.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Stars in our Schools - Celebrating the role of school support staff

On Friday 25 November 2016, across the country schools will be celebrating the people behind the scenes who help children learn, keep them safe and healthy and make sure schools run smoothly.
Susan Kennedy, Assistant Secretary is encouraging schools across Aberdeenshire to take part.

"This allows those schools to thank all the support staff who are very often forgotten, for all their hard work supporting our children through their educational years,” she said.

Click here for the Stars in Our Schools website

Susan added, "A whole team of people – from IT technicians, caretakers, lunchtime supervisors, receptionists, administrators, teaching assistants and many more – work together to make a great school.

"These people have a huge impact on children’s education, but they’re often forgotten. Which is why UNISON organises Stars in Our Schools day, a day to celebrate them. And the day is almost here!"

Click on the link for more ideas of what you can do

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Come along to the St Andrews Day March and Rally and celebrate diversity in the North East of Scotland

Members are urged to attend this year's St Andrew's Day March and Rally in Aberdeen which will be held on Saturday 26th November and will celebrate diversity in the North East of Scotland.

Click here for a poster

Organiser, Aberdeen Trades Union Council has joined forces with #We are Aberdeen, a new campaign in the North East of Scotland to bring people and communities together to respond to the recent rise of intolerance across the UK.

Marchers will gather at 11am in the St Nicholas Churchyard, Union Street, Aberdeen to march off at 11.30am for a rally in the Castlegate at 12 noon.

Kate Ramsden, President of the ATUC said, "We are delighted to be working with #We are Aberdeen to celebrate the diversity of our communities in the North East of Scotland.

"Everyone is welcome on the march, to give the message that racism will not be tolerated in the North East of Scotland. We see this as a family event and I would love to see people bringing their own stories and positive messages, such as colourful banners, placards and posters."

The march will be led off by the Granite City Pipes and Drums Youth Band so will be a rousing affair. The rally will hear from speakers from community groups, trade unions and politicians representing the multi-cultural voices of the North East.

Following the rally, there will be songs and poetry from Ray Moore, Davy Kettyles and others in La Lombarda in the Castlegate. Please come and join us there too.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Time to Care - if you work in care are you getting the Scottish Living Wage?

#TimetoCare From 1 October 2016 social care workers should be be paid £8.25 per hour.

Help UNISON enforce the Living Wage and Fair Work. Click here to fill in our Living Wage survey right now!

Are you being paid the Scottish Living Wage?
This is most likely to apply to you if you work for the Community, Voluntary or Private sector.

New Social Care Rights from 1 October as demanded by Scottish Government are:

• The Scottish Living Wage of £8.25
• Fair working conditions
• An effective voice for staff when negotiating with your employer
• Secure working arrangements
• Opportunities to advance your career in social care

All this should be embedded in the revised funding of the organisation you work for.

If you work in social care and are not being paid the Scottish Living Wage – or if your terms and conditions have been altered as a result of receiving the Living Wage – then you need to let us know.

This applies to anyone aged 18 and over.

Click here to tell us about it right now using our fast survey.

And check out our TimeTo Care campaign right here


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Branch urges members to get along to council meetings about alternative service delivery model for sport and culture

The branch is encouraging all affected members to get along to a series of meetings arranged by Aberdeenshire Council in the run-up to the next EL&L Committee.

This committee will consider a report from the project board which includes a commissioned report from Ernst and Young on an alternative service delivery model for sport, culture and community learning and development. The branch will be represented at all these meetings to hear what you think.

Four alternative models that were considered have been narrowed down by the Project Board to the creation of a charitable trust, which would deliver sport and cultural services on behalf of the council, (also known as an Arms Length External Organisation or ALEO) and the potential of an enhanced status quo model through which those services would continue to be directly delivered by the council.

The meeting dates are as follows:
  • North (Fraserburgh CSC) – 11am – 12pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • North (Peterhead Community Theatre) – 3 – 4pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • Central (Meldrum Academy) – 3.30 – 4.30pm Wednesday, 26 October
  • Central (Inverurie Town Hall) – 6 – 7pm Monday, 24 October
  • South (PFR Room, Banchory Academy) – 6 – 7pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • South (Mearns Community Campus) – 6 – 7pm Wednesday, 26 October
On 27th October EL&L committee members will be presented with a report on the work carried out so far before the preferred option is chosen by all councillors at next month’s full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on 15th November.

The branch has been pressing the council through the working group, project board and elected members to think very carefully before going down any outsourcing route. We have pointed out that ALEOs in other Local Authorities in Scotland have led to cuts in services as well as in staff, and terms and conditions. Aberdeen City is currently seeing the closure of pools in the City by their ALEO, Sport Aberdeen.

The branch has worked to see CLD services removed from this proposal and welcomes the recommendation that CLD services be removed from the scope of this proposal. If the committee agrees, CLD will remain under the direct management of Aberdeenshire Council. We believe that the best way to protect and deliver public services is to keep them in-house.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Branch supports Graham's half Marathon and fundraising and you can too

Branch steward Graham Wilson will be running in the Fraserburgh half Marathon on the 6th November in support of Oldmeldrum based charity Kayleigh's Wee Stars and the branch delighted to have donated £100 to this very worthwhile cause.

This local charity provides financial support for families where there is a child with a terminal illness, and helps makes memories for these extremely courageous children

We would also encourage members to donate in recognition of Graham's efforts and you can do so by clicking here. Kayleigh's Wee Stars.
Graham in training
Graham said, "Whilst I really enjoy running and it provides so much for me in the way of stress relief, I do want some good to come out of it.

"Rather than ask for sponsorship I am encouraging friends and family that maybe would consider sponsoring me to instead make a donation to Kayleigh's Wee Stars.

"The charity continues to receive on average 4 applications for support a month, and by May 2015 had donated almost £250,000 in total. The applications continue to come in and every bit of support is vital," added Graham.

" It doesn't take long to donate, and every little makes a difference, giving me some inspiration to run this half marathon.

"Please make a donation and help to provide a family with a chance of making precious memories together."