Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Scottish local government members accept a two year pay deal

Date: Wed 12 Nov 2008 3pm

UNISON members in Scotland’s councils have voted to accept a two year pay deal. Ballot papers were issued to nearly 100,000 UNISON members seeking their view of the latest local government pay offer by CoSLA of 3% for 2008 and 2.5% for 2009. The ballot covered members working for Scotland’s 32 local councils, local joint valuation boards and fire and rescue staff. In a very close result, UNISON members have voted by a narrow majority to accept the offer.

It is UNISON’s view that this is a poor offer, significantly below the present rate of inflation, despite the improvements to the previous offer which we were able to secure following two successful one day strikes. The strike action was successful thanks to the strong support of our members and tremendous work done locally by branches. The ballot result from the major union in local government indicates that the majority of members wish to resolve this dispute. UNISON is a democratic organisation; we have consulted all our members and respect their decision. The closeness of the result is a clear message to local authorities that staff are unhappy with the present pay offer.

Dougie Black, UNISON Regional Organiser and lead negotiator said:
“This offer is not good but circumstances have led to our members drawing this dispute to a close. They have made a pragmatic decision based on the perilous state of Local Government finance, the unsettled wider economy and the fact that Christmas is almost upon us.”

Stephanie Herd, Chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee added:
“It was clear from employers’ statements that they had become entrenched. In accepting this offer and improving our members’ basic pay until 2010, UNISON and the employers have the opportunity to look at ways of tackling low pay in local government without the backdrop of a dispute. This should be the start of constructive and meaningful discussions on pay for the future not simply the end of a hard fought bitter dispute.”


For further information please contact:

Dougie Black, Regional Officer – Secretary, TU negotiators 07958 121 851(m)
Stephanie Herd, Chair – TU negotiators 07989 544 162(m)
Glyn Hawker, Scottish Organiser - Bargaining & Equal Pay 07876 441 237(m)
Tracey Dalling, Regional Officer 07904 341 989(m)


UNISON is the largest trade union in Scottish local authorities, representing over 100,000 council workers. UNISON Scotland organises local government staff in Scotland including social workers, housing staff, library & museum workers, cleansing and environmental protection staff, technicians and trading standards workers, early years workers, cooks, cleaners and classroom assistants.

The earlier pay offer made by the local government employers’ body CoSLA of 2.5% each year over three years was rejected in a ballot of members in July 2008. There were two days of strike action on 20 August and 24 September, following which the employers came back with the current improved offer which has now been accepted.

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