Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Members overwhelmingly reject pay offer - UNISON to ballot on industrial action

UNISON will ballot 70,000 local government members across every local authority in Scotland on industrial action.

The decision was announced at UNISON’s local government committee meeting on Monday following a consultative ballot which saw 77.6 per cent vote to reject the employers’ pay offer.
 
Dougie Black, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: “Local government workers have suffered years of pay restraint and their pay is worth far less now than ten years ago. The cost of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise and, as a consequence, their living standards have been severely eroded. This can not continue.

“If pay had even just risen with inflation a home care worker, for example, would be paid £19,900 a year when instead they are paid just £16,900; an early years’ worker would receive £24,100 instead of £20,400 and a library assistant would earn £26,400 instead of £22,400. And that’s just to keep up with the cost of living.

“Fair pay remains a priority for UNISON. Our members are the cogs that keep local government services turning and they deserve to be treated fairly.”

Mark Ferguson, Chair of the Local Government Committee added, "The result of the ballot on SJC Pay resulted in an overwhelming rejection of the employers offer.

"The Local Government Committee met to consider this result and unanimously agreed to pursue a further ballot for industrial action to seek to force the employers to make an improved offer."

A Branch Secretaries meeting will be organised w/c 17th April at which further details of the consultative ballot outcome and the arrangements and campaign for the formal industrial action ballot will be outlined.

Friday, 7 April 2017

NEC Elections 2017 Please use your vote for the NEC - Branch nominations

Ballot papers will begin to land on doormats from 3rd to 28th April for the elections to UNISON's national ruling body, the National Executive Council (NEC).

Historically there is a very low turn-out for these elections despite their importance to the running of our union. The branch is urging all our members to vote in these elections.

Click here for information about all candidates and procedures

The choice of who you vote for is yours but you can click here to see who the branch has nominated and why.

Local Government Election 5th May 2017 - Branch writes to candidates to ask - Will you support public services and workers' rights?

The Scottish local government elections take place on Thursday 4 May 2017.

Local government has borne the brunt of austerity cuts over the last decade. UNISON is campaigning for fully resourced and accountable public services in local communities delivered by a fairly paid council workforce.

The branch has written to all candidates to ask them if they will support Scotland’s Fair Work Framework, which pledges that staff should have security, respect, fulfilment, opportunity and an effective voice at work.


If they will invest in public services and oppose the policy of austerity, which is starving essential wellbeing services of adequate funding.

If they will commit to keeping education, social care and other local public services, under direct local democratic control.

The branch will share the responses received and will let you know who has not replied. PLEASE CONSIDER THIS WHEN CASTING YOUR VOTE AND VOTE FOR CANDIDATES WHO WILL PROTECT PUBLIC SERVICES AND WORKERS' RIGHTS.

Click here for more on the branch website

Click here for UNISON Scotland's Local Government Elections 2017 page

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."