Friday, 17 March 2017

Online consultation on Pay Offer - Vote to REJECT

UNISON will be balloting members on the employers' latest pay offer via an online forum for the first time ever.

To register your vote, please click here. You will also find leaflets and posters explaining why the pay offer is not fair pay.

N.B. Please check your e mails and Junk folder for the ballot materials and to go to My UNISON to update your e mail addresses.

Click here for more information on the Branch website.

We are worth it! 

We are Worth Fair Pay.

Monday, 13 March 2017

UNISON Scotland Local Government Committee to consult on new pay offer with recommendation to REJECT

Local government employers have tabled a final pay offer and UNISON will now consult members on their views with a recommendation to REJECT this offer.
 
For the first time this will be an an online consultation.

UNISON Scotland’s Local Government Committee unanimously decided to recommend REJECTION of the offer. The committee also agreed to consult members in a digital online ballot commencing 17th March and closing at 12 noon on 7th April.

The employers upped the two previous offers to £350 flat rate for those earning up to £35,000 and 1% for those above, but it fell far short of the union’s demand for a flat rate across the board.

Dougie Black, UNISON lead negotiator, said: “The joint trade union position was united behind the need for only a flat rate claim and not a mixed offer.

"Since the offer was tabled the local government settlement had marginally improved. Previous offers had seen £250 up to £25,000 and 1%, then £300 up to £30,000 and 1% for those above.

“We had persuaded the employers to go back to the COSLA leaders and seek a fresh mandate on the basis of the trade union position.

"However this is nowhere near enough. Our flat rate claim of £1000 would have gone some way towards redressing the 14% fall in pay in real terms. This is a mere drop in the ocean, even for our low paid members."

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Stop the huge rises in SSSC fees for Scottish care workers and social workers

UNISON, Scotland’s largest public service union, has hit out after an announcement by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to hike registration fees.  These will see annual fees rise by 66% for social care support workers and 75% for supervisors, with rises of up to 166% for the most qualified staff.

The union says the decision will come as a blow to workers and add further negativity to a sector already blighted by low-pay; insecure employment; unsafe staffing levels; and poor career development.

Stephen Smellie, UNISON Scotland Depute Convener and Chair of the Social Work Issues Group has set up a petition calling for the SSSC to rethink and is calling on all registered or soon to be registered workers to sign it. As a branch we are urging our social work and social care members to sign the petition.

Click here to sign the petiton 

The SSSC registers workers across social care services including: social workers; social service workers; those managing and working in children’s services; day care and residential care.  The proposal for a rise in fees has been  approved by the Scottish Government  and will be applied in September.

Kate Ramsden
Kate Ramsden
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair and member of UNISON Scotland's Social Work Issues group said, “This is a slap in the face for hard-working social care and social work staff who are already facing a real-terms pay cut. An increase in fees is nothing more than a tax on compassion and we urge the SSSC to review their decision as a matter of urgency.

“Care could and should be a profession. We want a professional body with the standing and influence to recognise the value of care work and care workers – but this is not the case in Scotland.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Cornerstone recognition agreement returns negotiating rights to UNISON

Deborah Clarke
UNISON has signed the Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee (JNCC) Terms of Reference: Collective Bargaining with Cornerstone.

Despite having a recognition agreement since 1995 Cornerstone introduced an Employee Forum 8 years ago which effectively removed all bargaining rights away from UNISON to this unelected staff body.

Deborah Clarke, UNISON Head of Community said, "As you know the relationship between UNISON and Cornerstone has been under considerable strain over the last six months, however we have now turned a corner and put UNISON back as the sole body with which Cornerstone negotiates and consults as per the recognition agreement.

"This is very good news. We have re written the Employee Forum Terms of Reference to remove any rights to negotiation and consultation. 

"The new EF:Terms of Reference were agreed by the board in January. This means that we are now better placed to represent the Cornerstone Members."

Deborah paid tribute to the Cornerstone stewards.

"These stewards have done an exceptional job over the last six months with this very difficult employer. This represents a huge success for our members."

Pay offer upped slightly but employers asked to think again

Union negotiators met CoSLA in the Steering Group on 14th February to start negotiations on pay.

Branch secretary and UNISON negotiator Inez Teece said, "We reached a point where the employers tabled a slightly different offer which was; £300 for those earning up to £30,000 and 1% for those above.

"The joint trade union position was united behind the need for only a flat rate claim and not a mixed offer. The employers position was that the new offer made was the limit of their mandate.

"We did however persuade the employers to go back to the COSLA Leaders Forum and seek a fresh mandate on the basis of the trade union position.

"We also made the point that since the offer was tabled the LG settlement had marginally changed and asked the employers to consider whether more money could be directed into the pay financial envelope.

"The Steering Group will next meet on 3rd March where we expect the employers to make a final offer."

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Pay Update 24th January 2017 - UNISON urges councils to agree decent pay rise now

Aberdeenshire UNISON branch, along with all the other council branches in Scotland, will be writing to the leaders of our councils urging them to make a decent pay offer to staff when they meet on 27th January.

This is the latest in UNISON Scotland's long running pay claim for council workers which was first submitted back in August 2016.

UNISON council branches will also lobby the CoSLA meeting on 27th January.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "Our claim has been in for 5 months now with NO response from CoSLA. It's a disgraceful way to treat hard-working staff.

"Council workers deserve a decent pay rise this year after years of falling living standards and we will continue to press the employers for a decent settlement."

Monday, 16 January 2017

Support staff struggling to maintain standards for pupils because of cuts, says UNISON's "Hard Lessons" report

Lack of time, resources and heavy workloads mean support staff are struggling to maintain standards for pupils in Scotland. That is the finding of a wide ranging UNISON report released on Monday 16 January 2017

In probably one of the biggest surveys of school support staff ever in Scotland, staff report heavier workloads, jobs cuts, lack of educational supplies, and dirtier schools. This is while pupil numbers and education support needs are increasing.

There are 6707 more pupils since 2010 in Scottish schools, but there 1841 less support staff and 1389 less teachers. This report confirms the enormous stress this puts on support staff.

54 per cent of support staff say budgets have been cut, 40 per cent carry out unpaid work to meet workloads, 60 per cent say morale is low, and 80 per cent say workloads are heavier. And services like school libraries are closing. Many report stress from the lack of training and support they receive for the tasks they are asked to carry out – like administering medicines or caring for pupils with challenging behaviour.

The report reveals a dedicated workforce committed to supporting children to reach their potential. Staff skip breaks and work late to meet their pupil’s needs. But they are exhausted, undervalued and under enormous pressure.