UNISON convener Valerie Jennings and council workers campaigning outside the Burgh Hall in Dumbarton. Pictures by Bill Heaney
COSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, have tabled an improved pay offer for local government workers, a move which has been welcomed by the trade union UNISON.
The improved pay offer has come after months of campaigning and negotiations by UNISON and sister trade unions (GMB and Unite) and years of below inflation pay increases. The new offer would deliver 9.5% cost of living increase over 3 years: 3.5% for 2018-19, 3% for 2019-20 and 3% for 2020-21. In addition it provides a commitment to fully consolidating the living wage, putting more money in the pockets of lower paid council workers, something UNISON has been campaigning for, for years.
UNISON have welcomed the move and it’s local government committee agreed this morning to ballot their members in the new year, urging them to accept the offer.
Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government (Bargaining) said: “This revised and improved offer would never have been achieved without the resolve, campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of UNISON members up and down the country. Whilst the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity the provision of cost of living increases which meet current and projected levels of RPI is welcome as are the commitments to fully consolidate the living wage and maintain parity across the local government workforce.”
Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee said: “This offer does not meet all of our expectations but it is move in the right direction after a decade of below inflation increases and job cuts. Many of our low paid members have patiently waited on their employer to consolidate the living wage – the employers past failure to deliver on that has resulted in eradication of pay differentials on the pay model for those doing the most demanding jobs.”
The improved pay offer has come after months of campaigning and negotiations by the SJC trades unions. The offer would deliver cost of living increases of 3.5% for 2018-19, 3% for 2019-20 and 3% for 2020-21. In addition it provides a commitment to fully consolidating the Living Wage and provides for negotiations to be re-opened in the event that any other local government bargaining group’s total pay offer value is revised such that it becomes greater than the sum agreed with the SJC trade unions.
Read COSLA offer letter here: Formal SJC Pay Offer 191218
UNISON are the largest trade union in Scottish Local Government – representing 80,000 local government workers across the country – and the largest trade union in the UK.
• Local government workers have endured a decade of austerity with job cuts, and a decade real terms pay cuts.