Unison Week 86



4th – 8th June 2013   Issue 86 (had enough of not enough edition)


Local Government strike ballot for fair pay

Council Staff  are like anyone else  – they  deserve to be paid fairly  for the work they do. In recent years pay has been frozen, while prices have risen, particularly unavoidable essentials like food, gas and electricity.  Most staff have seen a decline in the value of their wages of almost 13%.  They have also been put under pressure  – over 34 000 jobs have gone in Local Government  in recent years. The current offer of 1% with no guarantee of an annual uprating of the Living  Wage level just isn’t enough.  We are balloting   our 75 000 members in Local Government for strike action. We’re saying Yes to Fair Pay 



On never letting a crisis go to waste

…so a Tory MP and three members of the House of Lords are caught agreeing to take money  from lobbyists (allegedly). It’s a scandal .. and a scandal that was predicted. A sensible response to this might be Bill along the lines of the one Neil Findlay MSP is proposing in Holyrood on Lobbying Transparency (which incidentally  UNISON supports). But no,  what we get instead is an attack on Trade Unions.  This makes about as much  sense  as bringing  new  cycling safety measures after an  outbreak of food poisoning.


What it shows is that this Government hate the idea of ordinary people working together to get a fairer deal from themselves,  and will use any and every opportunity to attack our ability to do so.  (That said,  maybe we should consider ourselves lucky they  intend restricting themselves to legislation and aren’t  despatching the Eton Rifles )  






02/06/13 unison-scotland.org.uk

UNISON Training still some places left on some courses.  Details here


03/06/13 unison.org.uk

UNISON can help low paid members with School uniform costs Details here


24/05/13 unison-scotland.blogspot.co.uk

College Staff threaten Strike to  strike over pay offer Details here


29/05/13 heraldscotland.com

NHS pay rise delay  unacceptable More here 





30/05/13     gov.uk   unison.org.uk

A new ONS Labour Force Survey shows that union membership rose by 59,000 to 6.5m, it pays to organise!


24/05/13 Scotsman.com

Claims about centralising services don’t add up


31/05/13 Guardian.co.uk

Big numbers, Benefits  and Government Ministers being (ahem) less than truthful


31/05/13     stuc.org.uk      scotsman.com

The Trade union movement  has never been convinced that Corporation Tax Cuts are any kind of step forward.

We’re delighted that  a Nobel prize winning  first ministerial adviser  agrees


25/05/13 guardian.co.uk  bbc.co.uk

 More millionaires than ever  and more people using foodbanks than ever… brings to mind

“What thoughtful rich people call the problem of poverty, thoughtful poor people,

with equal justice call a problem of riches” RH Tawney 

School Uniform Assistance

UNISON: Help with school uniform costs


If you’re struggling with the rising cost of living, and worried about how you’ll be able to cope with back-to-school costs, UNISON might be able to help.  The union’s welfare charity, There for You, has set up a limited fund to help with school uniform costs with a one-off payment of up to £120, and is now accepting applications from members on low incomes.

To apply, and to find out if you may be eligible, Download this file……… TFY_130514_SchoolUniformGrant [pdf file]. Alternatively, you can contact your UNISON branch.

Please feel free to circulate to all UNISON members.  Join UNISON at www.joinunison.org.
You will need to submit completed application forms by 5 July 2013.

Strike Ballot


Union announces Scotland wide strike ballot of council staff

Local government workers across Scotland are being balloted on strike action, after rejecting a 1% pay offer.

UNISON, the public services union, will ballot 75,000 members working for Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Stephanie Herd, Chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee, said: “Members are angry about a miserly 1% offer, following two years of a pay freeze.

“The year before that they only received 0.65%. Over this period the value of their pay has gone down by nearly 13%, while the cost of food and heating has soared.

“Council staff work hard delivering quality public services. They are overstretched after more than 34,500 local government jobs have gone. They are underpaid, and they see the wealthiest people in this country getting ever richer.

“Our members deserve fair pay and we believe they will vote yes for strike action to put pressure on the employers to improve the offer.”

UNISON is calling for a fair pay rise and for COSLA to commit to an annual increase in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.50 per hour. The current offer from employers includes the Living Wage, which the unions have campaigned for, but no annual uplift.

Dougie Black, UNISON lead negotiator in local government, said: “We tried to get the employers back round the table for talks after members voted to reject the offer, but the employers refused.

“It is clear that our members do not believe 1% is fair. They also lost out because they did not receive the £250 increase for the lowest paid NHS and civil service staff in the last two years, which was supposed to soften the blow of a pay freeze.”


More info can be found at……