UNISON Fife Woman’s Group

To all female Unison members wishing to join

 UNISON Fife Woman’s Group

Dear Colleague,

Here are the meeting dates for the rest of 2017 meetings.

All venues are at Fife House, Glenrothes, 7pm – 9pm other than our Christmas Social Night in December, date and time still to be confirmed.

Tuesday 29th August – Woman’s Health Information.

I have a pack that provides general information about a range of health matters that affect women, to give us a starting point and have a general discussion on woman’s health issues.

I am still trying to get a specialist nurse to come along to speak about the menopause, if anyone knows of someone in this field of work, send me their details and I will get in touch with them to organise a meeting.

I would also like your support in organising a short Questionnaire to find out what would be of interest to our woman members e.g., future topics/issues, venues for meetings, the timing of meetings.

Tuesday 3rd October – Breast Cancer Now Fundraiser and information evening.

Tuesday 14th November – A speaker from Thomson’s Solicitors to give a general overview about the legal services unison members and your family may be entitled to and how to access them.

Any enquiries to Margaret.pollock@fife.gov.uk or Kathleen.gourlay@fife.gov.uk

Unison Fife Woman’s Officers. 



I am delighted to tell you that UNISON Legal Services has been successful in its challenge to Employment Tribunal Fees.  Today, the Supreme Court, the UK’S highest court, ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when it introduced fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales. Since 2013, workers have had to pay as much as £1,200 plus to have claims for sex discrimination or unfair dismissal heard at Tribunal.

I am so very proud that it is our union which has successfully challenged this great injustice. As the Supreme Court has said Employment Tribunals play a vital role in enforcing employment rights by employees and workers including the low paid. The Court found that UNISON’s evidence showed that the fall in claims when fees came in was ‘so sharp, so substantial and so sustained’ that fees could not reasonably be afforded by those on low to middle incomes. It also held that fees particularly deterred claims of low value which as we know are generally brought by the most vulnerable workers.

This historic judgement makes heavy criticism of the Government’s actions. It found that the system of fees introduced in 2013 infringed constitutional rights. The Court said that citizens’ right of access to the courts which is guaranteed by Magna Carta was effectively prevented by the Fees Order which introduced fees in Employment Tribunals. The level at which the fees had been set contravened ‘elementary economics and plain common sense’.

This decision in our union’s case will benefit all working people.

Our next steps are to call for the Government to

·         quash the rules relating to fees,
·         reimburse all fees paid since 2013,
·         immediately remove all references to fees on ET claim forms and government literature, websites and advice; and
·         pay UNISON’s costs in full.

I would like to thank all members of UNISON Legal Services who have worked tirelessly on this case but particular mention should be made of Adam Creme, Shantha David, Ben Patrick, Kate Osborne and Grant Haycock and to Bronwyn McKenna, AGS, who has worked with me on this.

Yours sincerely

Dave Prentis

SJC Pay Update

A message from Douglas Black, Regional Organiser…




I can now confirm that COSLA have at a Special Leaders Meeting now agreed the SJC Pay award for 2017/18 and the appropriate agreement for issuing to all local authorities is being drafted and will be distributed within the next few days.

The Leaders have also agreed to a joint approach to the Scottish Government making the case for additional resources for local government and if this was successful they recognise that additional money for future pay awards is a priority.

We will also be meeting with COSLA within the next few weeks to start preliminary discussions on a future Pay Strategy and hoping to conclude this by December this year.

Branch Equality Survey

Last year nearly 5,000 UNISON members took part in our national equality survey about their experience of equality in the workplace – one of the biggest responses to any survey ever run by UNISON. We used the results to brief our service groups and self-organised groups on key equality issues for their bargaining and organising agendas. This year we want to try for 6000 members taking part.

The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2V868JJ
It takes just 5-10 minutes to complete. It can be done anonymously, although if you want to be entered into a prize draw to win 3 nights at Croyde Bay you have an option to leave your email address.


The survey closes on Monday 7 August.


I would be grateful if you could distribute this to your members.
Find out more about Croyde Bay Holiday Resort

Pay Offer Ballot Update

Formal ballot to take place, following strong rejection of pay deal in consultative ballot

As you will know, UNISON has been running a consultative ballot in the last few weeks on the final pay offer from your employers (click to find out more about the offer).

The consultative ballot helps us understand the strength of feeling of members before we embark on a formal ballot, leading to industrial action.

The consultative ballot produced an overwhelming rejection of the employers offer. The result was as follows:

To REJECT the offer – 77.5%
To ACCEPT the offer – 22.5%

To give you a sense of the strength of feeling within UNISON, more of our members voted to reject than exist in all the other unions in Scottish Local Government combined.

The UNISON Local Government Committee met in Glasgow on Monday to consider this result. They unanimously agreed to pursue a further ballot for industrial action to seek to force the employers to make an improved offer.

UNISON will move to a formal ballot of 69,000 members in the next two months‎.

The law states that this formal ballot will take place by post only, and to ensure we can take action we will need at least 50% of members to participate.

We will be in contact soon with more details of the formal ballot. Please do look out for these emails – and the ballot arriving by post – to ensure you don’t miss out on your chance to have your say.

Mike Kirby
Scottish Secretary

Pay Consultation Ballot Update

Colleagues, as a reminder… the Pay Negotiations Consultation ballot ends on Friday April 7th. This is a reminder for all members to let their voice be heard.The new rules require a 50% turnout for the ballot to have any recognition, otherwise the local government offer will be implemented. As you know, Unison are advising members to reject the offer. However, it is your Union. It’s important for everyone to vote, whether the final result is to accept or reject. Many thanks.

Here is the link to the Ballot.. www.UNISON.org.uk/lgscot17