BackTo60 campaigners have lost a significant battle against the government’s handling of the rise in women’s state pension age.
Women born in the 50’s claim the rise is unfair because they were not given enough time to make adjustments to cope with years without a state pension. They argued the changes were discrimination but judges in the High Court disagreed.
BackTo60 campaign director, Joanne Welch, said outside the court: “Where do we go from here? Well, where will the government go from here is the better question ” She referred to Boris Johnson’s pledge during the Tory leadership campaign to look with “fresh vigour” at the state pension issue. “We will be holding you to that undertaking”
The DWP say they welcome the High Court’s decision, claiming “changes to pension age were entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds”
The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign is different to BackTo60 in that they want compensation for the “unfair” way the changes of 1995 and 2011 were implemented. It wants payment for those who have already reached state retirement age plus extra income for those still awaiting their state pension. But it is not asking for women’s retirement age to return to 60.
Dave Prentis said today “UNISON is proud to stand with the WASPI women in their fight for fairness and justice – they won’t give up and neither will we”
Become a Volunteer Children’s Panel Member
The qualities you use every day are exactly what Scotland’s infants, children and young people look for in a Panel Member. Children’s Hearings Scotland is looking for people who care about making a difference in the lives of infants, children and young people attending hearings in Scotland. Panel Members sit on the Children’s Panel and make high quality decisions with and for children and young people in their local community. As a volunteer Panel Member you can make a difference.
There’s no one type of person or background that makes the ideal Children’s Panel Member. You will receive extensive training so that you are fully capable, and comfortable, making decisions at a hearing in the best interest of a child or young person. You don’t need to have any specific qualifications, you just need to care.
Children’s Hearings Scotland is dedicated to recruiting a Children’s Panel that represents society, and so to ensure a balanced panel they are looking for more people 18 – 30 years old, as well as more male Panel Members. If you are passionate about driving positive change in your local community, then this is a volunteering role for you!
Find out more: www.childrenspanelscotland.org
Employee Led Evaluation
- Fife Council are offering members an opportunity to revisit the grades of their posts, this is the first time members have been able to challenge their grades since the implementation of Single Status.
- The first Appeals Window opens on Monday 1st April 2019.
- There has to have been a significant variation in your role since Single Status and members need supporting evidence of this for an appeal to be successful.
- All the information in relation to the process can be accessed via http://www.fish.fife/fish/subjects/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.display&pageid=6834F311-F252-19AD-5FE982D2B1FB0BD2&subjectid=3623D4A3-9881-81D0-C3F272A6F4A99AE3
- The initial Appeals Window closes on Friday 26th April 2019.
A number of members have contacted us regarding media reports that the Teaching Unions have received a revised pay offer and asking whether that now means our own pay negotiations have re-opened.
The re-opener clause in our pay deal states “A commitment to re-open negotiations with the Joint Trade Unions in the event of another Local Government bargaining group’s total pay offer value being revised such that it becomes greater than the sum agreed between COSLA Employers and the SJC Trade Unions for the SJC workforce for the period of the agreement.”
Here’s what we know of the current position:
– The press is reporting on a letter sent to the Teaching Trade Unions by John Swinney MSP.
– We understand that this is not an ‘offer’ made as part of the collective bargaining machinery – it is a ‘proposal’ made by the Scottish Government without reference to COSLA.
– Only the employer (COSLA) can make an offer – they have not (yet) done so.
– COSLA Leaders, who would have to sign off any revised offer, does not meet until the 29th March.
– We have asked COSLA for clarity on this proposal – how much money is being put in, whether it relates to cost of living increases or pay restructuring and what it would mean in terms of the total pay offer value – we understand the Scottish Government have not yet provided this inforrmation to COSLA.
– We need, and will examine carefully this information when it is recieved, in order to assess whether the terms of the re-opener clause in our pay deal have been met.
– Our Local Government Committee meets on Thursday and will consider our position further at that point.
We will keep you abreast of developments.
8/10 of the lowest paid jobs in the UK are predominately done by women
Encourage others to join our movement and pay the real Living Wage this International Women’s Day
We know women are disproportionately represented in low-paid jobs. That’s why this International Women’s Day we want to encourage other employers to pay the real Living Wage, joining nearly 5000 Living Wage Employers who are going further to ensure women in their workplace can keep their heads above the water.
Members will be aware that whilst UNISON concluded our ballot on pay on the 31st January 2019, with members voting in record numbers to accept the offer, we have been awaiting the outcome of the two other SJC trade unions internal consultations.
The GMB ballot has now also delivered a vote to accept the offer.
The Unite ballot delivered a rejection of the offer.
By majority vote therefore of the trade union side at the SJC meeting today the offer has been accepted.
COSLA will now write to all councils asking them to process payments. They anticipate that most will be able to implement in March salaries – we have asked for details of which councils will not be able to make this implementation timescale and will communicate those details as soon as we have them.
We know that this has been a long process and thank all members for their understanding.
Thank you too for your campaigning activity – it has been by our collective effort that we have secured the best pay deal in local government in a decade.
We are a small group of women who meet up informally every 6 weeks or so in Fife House, Glenrothes. We aim to inform members of relevant issues and offer advice and support. We provide the space for women to speak openly and freely about their own issues. We also have 2 social evenings per year. We would like to see the numbers in our group grow and therefore please can you help us to make sure we are providing the appropriate support and information by completing this short survey. On completion of the survey, your name will be entered into a draw for a £30.00 Marks and Spencer voucher.
Please can you complete the survey by 8th March. Your support is greatly appreciated. Together we are stronger.
Please click on the link below to complete the survey.
Kathleen Gourlay and Margaret Pollock
UNISON Joint Women’s Officers.
UNISON members overwhelmingly vote to accept pay offer for council workers
1 February, 2019
UNISON, the largest union in local government, have today informed COSLA that their members have overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay offer for local government workers.
The move follows a consultative ballot of UNISON Scotland local government members in which 91% voted in favour of the deal and in record numbers. UNISON’s ballot closed on Thursday 31 January.
Results of the ballot were announced at UNISON Scotland’s Local Government Committee today (Friday 1 February).
The pay offer would deliver 9.5% cost of living increase over three 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 on for years.
It also provides a commitment to re-open negotiations in the event of another local government bargaining group’s total pay offer value is revised such that it becomes greater than the sum agreed between COSLA Employers and the SJC Trade Unions for the SJC workforce for the period of the agreement. The award will be backdated to 1 April 2018.
UNISON Head of local government Scotland Johanna Baxter said: “This is a great outcome, delivered as a direct result of the campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of UNISON members up and down the country. The cost of living increases meet current and projected levels of RPI and we have secured commitments to fully consolidate the living wage and maintain parity across the local government workforce. Our members have been waiting on a pay increase for over a year now so look forward to receiving their increase soon.”
UNISON chair of local government committee in Scotland Mark Ferguson said: “UNISON has campaigned hard to get the best deal we can for local government workers. While the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity, the offer, and particularly the commitment to consolidate the Living Wage, provides important safeguards for our lowest paid members.
“We will work to ensure this is properly delivered and local government workers will now receive back dated money in their pay packets in coming months.”
– 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.