LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY BALLOT
The Pay Ballot closed on 13th August and resulted in a very narrow rejection of moving towards a programme of industrial action in support of an improved offer. 49.78% voted in favour of industrial action and 50.22% voted against.
The Scottish Local Government Committee met this morning to consider the outcome and agreed that UNISON will not take industrial action over pay this year. It was also agreed to inform the employers that we should now accept the 1% offer and the introduction of the Living Wage, inform the employers of this, and press for an early payment date.
Whilst the result of this ballot means that members have voted to reject industrial action over the current one year deal, there was a substantial vote for a strike. Our members in local government voted by 3:2 in an earlier consultative ballot to reject the 1% pay offer which is effectively a further pay cut.
Clearly our local government members fear for the security of their jobs and the pressure on the vital services we provide to our communities. This is on the back of job losses in local government upwards of 35,000 over the last three years. This is clearly a very difficult climate that our members are working under.
Whilst at this stage our members have rejected taking industrial action, there was however a substantial vote in favour of strike action, this together with the campaign and resources that we developed over the past months will form a substantial platform to build on and move forward with a real impetus to push pay to the top of the bargaining agenda.
I’d be grateful if you could inform your members of this result, details of which will also be on the UNISON Scotland website.
Finally thanks to all our members and activists who participated in this long running campaign, whilst it did not provide the result we had hoped for it has provided the basis for moving pay forward next year.