UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee met in Glasgow on 31 May 2017, to consider the local government industrial ballot result. It was agreed UNISON have a mandate to ask COLSA to return to the table for further discussions. The ballot did return a vote in favour of taking industrial action but did not meet the requirements of the new Trade Union Act 2016. The result was…
62.7% vote in favour of industrial action but on a 22.8% turnout.
• Number of votes cast; 15,214
• Number of yes votes; 9,540
• Number of no votes; 5,662
• Number of spoiled or invalid papers; 12
As the turnout is below the 50% threshold, it is not possible to take industrial action under current legislation imposed by the UK Government.
A substantial number of UNISON members are unhappy with the employers offer on pay. The employers have previously stated that they would be prepared to meet with the trade unions once the ballot had concluded and as a result UNISON will be seeking an early meeting to explore how pay can be concluded for 2017/18.
UNISON will of course reflect on the result and we will be asking COSLA to do the same. We need to discuss the pay deal on the table, discuss pay and conditions for local government staff over the longer term, and more broadly we have to discuss the future of local government in Scotland. Local Government cannot continue taking the brunt of austerity and the job losses which follow, and local government staff cannot continue living with a 1% pay cap. Especially being that they have seen their pay erode year on year for the past decade.
UNISON has written to every member with further details about the ballot result and we would like to thank all those who voted. We will keep you updated on our negotiations.
A reminder of the claim and the offer…
What’s not fair?
While inflation indexes show how costs are rising, the impact on individual households is often worse. This cannot continue.
The employers have offered:
• Employees earning less than £35,000 a £350* increase (*pro rata based on 37 hours)
• Employees earning more than £35,000 a 1 per cent increase.
• Scottish Local Government Living Wage is the minimum pay for all pay and allowances including additional hours, contractual overtime and other allowances. It will be pensionable.
What is fair?
The employers’ offer falls far short of our claim. We asked for:
• A flat rate payment of £1,000 for all employees.
• The continued uprating of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.
• A future pay strategy to identify and redress the imbalance caused by previous pay awards below the rate of inflation.