Monday, 13 October 2014

Scottish council strike - Prentis calls on members to make a stand

 #councilfairpay Message from Dave Prentis, General Secretary: UNISON members in local government in Scotland have voted to take strike action due to the employers ignoring the agreed bargaining machinery, the imposition of a pay award and their failure to negotiate on UNISON’s pay claim. The first strike day will be Tuesday 21 October.

I am writing to ask you to take part in the strike and send a strong message to the employers that you will not accept the employer’s behaviour and that you want fair pay. UNISON’s aim is to get an improved offer for you.

Taking strike action might seem like a big step, especially if it is your first time. However, I would urge you to take part, alongside thousands of your fellow UNISON members. If you face hardship from taking strike action, you can seek help from UNISON.

The actions of the employers in ignoring the agreed bargaining machinery and imposing a pay award in April this year is unacceptable and threatens the future of collective bargaining in Scotland on pay. The 1% award imposed on 1 April this year does not keep pace with price increases and is in effect a pay cut. We have been forced to take action as a last resort after all attempts to negotiate have so far failed. We want to get the employers back to the negotiating table with us, but at the moment they are not prepared to do that.

As a union committed to providing quality public services, we regret the potential disruption our strike might cause. The services you provide are essential to the whole community, but you deserve better than what is effectively another pay cut.

We need to show the employers that we are prepared to defend our pay and to send a message to the government that enough is enough. They can’t keep cutting services, jobs and pay and expect us to accept it.

Please make a stand on 21 October. A well-supported strike is vital if we want to get the employers to listen to reason and show you the respect you deserve.

Best wishes

Dave Prentis
General Secretary

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