The unions are calling for a three-way meeting on pay with CoSLA and Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Economy & Fair Work, before the budget on 12 December,
In a letter to Derek Mackay, the unions say: “We write further to our correspondence and meetings with you earlier in the year, particularly our correspondence of 28th June 2018 and your reply of 10 July 2018, and our recent meeting with COSLA on 9th November 2018.
In our earlier correspondence we raised the possibility of arranging a tripartite meeting with yourself and COSLA representatives to discuss our serious concerns with local government funding and the impact this was having in terms of the 18/19 pay negotiations.
We were pleased that you indicated your willingness to participate in such a meeting. Until the 9th November 2018 COSLA had not agreed to this – we are pleased they have now conceded that if such a meeting was arranged they would now participate.
Revised Pay Offer
That decision is on the back of a revised pay offer for Local Government workers, delivered on 6th September 2018, and our own trade union consultations on that offer in which the overwhelming majority of our members have voted to reject it.
The reasons for our recommendation to members to reject the offer, and the subsequent membership votes to do so, are outlined in detail in our letter to COSLA of the 15th September (attached for your information).
Key to this was, once again, your Government’s decision to find additional money – another £38m we understand – to improve Teachers Pay but nothing for other Local Government workers. The principle of parity across local government is long held and the justifications for finding additional monies for Teachers apply equally to other areas of the local government workforce.
Additionally the revised offer does not improve the position for those on the lowest pay. We would highlight to you again that the Living Wage remains unconsolidated in the majority local authorities.
Our members have been clear – they can put up with no more.
here is now a very real possibility of widespread industrial action across the Local Government workforce unless you and/or COSLA take measures to improve the current offer. We would urge you to do so.
The tripartite meeting you have previously agreed to attend is now both necessary and urgent and we would suggest that it is diarised at the earliest possible opportunity, and certainly prior to the announcement of the Scottish budget on the 12th December 2018.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Johanna Baxter, SJC Joint Secretary UNISON;
Drew Duffy, SJC Joint Secretary GMB;
Willie McGonigle, SJC Joint Secretary UNITE