Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard on the Local Government Pay campaign. Here’s a brief update on where we are in negotiations and the next steps of the campaign:
Update on Discussions with Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay
The last meeting with Derek Mackay, on the 26th June, went well and as expected – constructive but not conclusive. The Scottish Government do not have a seat at our negotiating table and as such Derek Mackay cannot be seen to be negotiating local government pay – so we did not anticipate walking out of that meeting with a swag of cash, this is about applying political pressure. However we had a robust and respectful debate and he has committed to meeting again, this time jointly with COSLA. We wrote to him again following the meeting and he has replied to that – both letters are attached for your information. We know that COSLA representatives have also met with him to press for additional funding to ensure parity across local government – they also had a constructive exchange of views and he has committed to going back to them following their representations.
‘Education: It’s ONE Team’ campaign & response from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney
The ‘Education – It’s ONE Team’ campaign was *brilliant* so a massive thanks to everyone who participated in that. In little over two weeks we managed to collect, collate and deliver almost 3,500 postcards to Parliament – that’s 3,500 individual actions by members in a targeted group of our local government membership and countless more conversations about it across branches. The message resonated. A number of branches secured positive media coverage of the campaign with the pro forma press release and featured it on their social media accounts.
Having requested a meeting with John Swinney to hand over the postcards, and having had no response from him at all, we delivered the postcards directly to Parliament before the meeting with Derek Mackay. This was featured on social media and our press release was written up in a number of news outlets. John Swinney has now responded to our letters and campaign – a disappointing response – and that letter is also attached for your information.
‘Local Government: It’s ONE Team’ – Next steps of the campaign
Whilst COSLA have been consistent in their agreement with us about the need to uphold the principle of parity across the local government bargaining groups we need to give power to their elbow in their discussions with the Scottish Government and remind them that we will not give up on this.
It has therefore agreed to extend the campaign to the whole of the Local Government membership. The postcards worked so well with our members in education that it has been agreed we should do a similar exercise with the wider membership. To this end we have a new postcard (below and attached) which we are asking all members to send to the President of COSLA in advance of the next meeting of COSLA Leaders on the 31st August. Any improvement to the pay offer would have to be put to, and signed off at, this meeting so the intention is to ensure they know members strength of feeling before any decisions are taken.
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