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..



EYO Meetings

For the attention of all Early Years Officers

A series of meetings have been set up, in conjunction with UNISON, to discuss possible options for Early Learning and Childcare from August 2020.  These sessions are open to all Early Years Officers.

They are designed as information sessions and will give an overview of possible flexible models for delivery of EL&CC from August 2020.  This is in response to the Scottish Governments intention to increase the amount of free early learning and childcare for all eligible children to 1140 hours per annum from August 2020.

Meetings have been arranged on the following days and locations and will run from 5.15 pm – 6.15 pm for all sessions:

  • Wednesday 8 March 2017

Lochgelly High School


  • Thursday 9 March 2017

Glenrothes High School


  • Tuesday 14 March 2017

Kirkcaldy High School


  • Wednesday 15 March 2017

Queen Anne High School


  • Monday 20 March 2017

Bell Baxter High School

All Early Years Officers are encouraged to attend one of the sessions.

If you have any questions please contact the Early Years team on 01592 583568.

Pay Offer Update

UNISON Scotland will be conducting a consultative ballot in regards to the pay offer. The ballot will commence on 17th March closing at 12 noon on 7th April. This will be a digital online ballot, for those members we hold email address for you will receive an email with a link to the ballot. If you are not sure whether we have your up to date email address please contact the branch on 01592 583686 and we will update your records accordingly.

If you do not have an email account you will still be able to vote online.

2017 Pay Offer

The Employers have now made their final offer in respect of SJC Pay 2017/18. It is as follows;

• A flat rate increase of £350 for all SJC employees remunerated up to £35,000 (based on a 37hr working week).

• For those employees remunerated above £35,000, a 1% uplift in pay will apply;

• Councils will commit to using the Scottish Local Government Living Wage as the minimum pay level for all pay and allowances including additional hours worked, overtime and other allowances/premia (where applicable) and it will be pensionable;

• COSLA Employers agree to participate in a joint working group with the trade unions tasked with developing a future pay strategy that both sides can sign up to;

• The offer is for one year and covers the period 1 April, 2017 to 31 March 2018.

The Local Government Committee will now consider this offer on Thursday 9th March and agree a recommendation prior to fully consulting all our members affected by this. Full details of the arrangements will be communicated to branches by the end of the week.

Fife Council Budget Day


UNISON Fife members outside of Fife House this morning, standing up for our public services ahead of the Council setting it’s budget. Below is the speech delivered by the Branch Secretary to the demonstration.

Fife Council, like many other Councils across Scotland are
proposing budgets which will have massive consequences on our Communities, Our Services and Our members.

These cuts, if carried out, will cause longer lasting damage to the people of Fife for generations to come not just a term in office.
Across Scotland there will be thousands of job losses, staff pay and conditions will be attacked and fewer employees will be expected to do more.

The effect on local communities will fundamentally damage the fabric of society in Fife, quite possibly to the same levels as happened during Thatcher’s tyranny.

Whilst invariably these cuts will impact most on vulnerable in our communities, old and young alike, they go beyond the traditional stigmatised categories. Make no mistake, these cuts will impact on every single one of us across Fife.

Since 2010 millions of pounds have been removed from Fife Council’s budgets. This theft of tax payers’ money is set to continue for the foreseeable future!

It’s certainly true that the Tories have stolen more than £3 billion from public spending in Scotland since the austerity offensive began in the summer of 2010.

Austerity, we should remember, is an attempt by many politicians to make ordinary people pay for the economic crisis created by the greed of the Bankers and Super-Rich. The concept of Austerity is fake and is a word used to strip services out of public control and hand them over to money grabbing companies who have no stake, other than profit making, in creating and sustaining balanced communities.

Many of the proposals being considered today and going forward will include the increased use of private companies to deliver public services. These same companies who were complicit in creating the mess of the financial crash are the very ones who will benefit from our attempts to fix it.

Within the last couple of weeks the Scottish Government have made some concessions to get their budget approved, additional money is being made to schools to help close the attainment gap and local councils can raise income through council tax increases.
In reality, there are still millions to be removed from our budgets, no matter how you choose to dress it up.

Arguably the cuts in our budgets are as a consequence of Westminster austerity measures. This should not mean that we must sit back and consider ourselves powerless to act in the defence of local government.

Standing together as one Trade Unions, Politicians, Staff and Communities can begin a campaign of defiance and refuse to implement more cuts. Let us use the powers the Scottish Parliament have to protect the services we value and our communities rely on.

Politicians are voted in to protect the communities who elect them. Well the 18,000 employees are also part of these communities and our message today to our elected politicians is…….

Public Services must be protected.
Jobs, Terms & Conditions must be protected and
Local Communities must be protected!
It’s time to tell them what we want before public services become nothing but a section in a history book.

Pay Offer 2017

Pay offer for 2017 received by unions.

Last week the Scottish Local Government employers, 5 months after the unions submitted a claim, made an offer on pay to the trade unions, UNISON, GMB and Unite. Was it worth the wait? Judge for yourself.
The offer is 1% or £250 for anyone earning £25,000 for a 37 hour week (£236 for someone working 35 hours).
In addition the minimum rate of £8.46 (a penny more than the Scottish Living Wage) will be consolidated into the pay rates and they agree to a working group to look at the longer term pay strategy.
UNISON’s Local Government branches heard a report on Friday. The offer was received by the unions the day before the deal in the Parliament that gave £160m extra for councils and so it is not a final offer and further negotiations will take place in the next couple of weeks.
The offer is well short of the claim the trade unions submitted and does not match the expected rate of inflation for April and so will not redress the years of falling value in the wages council workers. It does not even meet the Government pay policy which suggested £400 for those earning below £22,500.
UNISON branches will be engaging with members during the negotiations on the understanding that if an improved offer is not received then members will be asked to consider whether to take industrial action.
The GMB and Unite will be discussing the offer with their members.
Further comment to follow.
What do you think?

FAO School Catering Staff

It has been brought to the branches attention that there is a misleading email circulating around school catering staff which has been sent out by a sister trade union. We understand that the email is stating that there is to be job losses in all schools as a result of a piece of work being carried out by consultants.

The unions were made aware of a pilot that was about to be run over 4 schools within Fife, there had been no consultation with the unions on this. As a result, UNISON Fife’s branch secretary put an immediate stop to this pilot beginning until such times as all trade unions had been fully briefed.

At this point in time there are no cuts to jobs or to contracts and we wanted to assure UNISON members that we will make sure that work to protect our members jobs and the services they provide.

Times are anxious enough without misleading information being given out. Please contact the branch on 01592 583686 if you would like to discuss.

No happy new year for Local Government Workers.

No happy new year for Local Government Workers.

27 December, 2016


Council staff who work tirelessly to provide services across the festive period are being treated in a disgraceful fashion by their employers, say UNISON.

UNISON, and other local authority trade unions, lodged a pay claim with the Scottish employers in August 2016. However despite many requests employers have failed to respond to it. That’s despite arranging pay claim discussion meetings but then cancelling them at short notice.

UNISON call on Scottish local government employers to get round the table in the first days of January 2017, so we can get the new year off to a good start.

UNISON’s lead negotiator, Douglas Black said ‘this is a dreadful way to treat staff who are working exceptionally hard under extreme circumstances to deliver the services that we all rely on. The Scottish employers need to take a hard look at themselves and understand that the greatest asset they rely on are their own staff.’

Mark Ferguson, chairperson of UNISON Local Government Committee added, ‘if an offer is not forthcoming then UNISON will not hesitate to consider taking action to force the employers to the negotiating table. Local government staff are keeping our vital services going over the festive period. It’s surely not too much to ask that the employers at least respond to our pay claim.”

UNISON is contacting all local Councillors to ask them to exert pressure on the employers negotiators to address this issue immediately.


UNISON is the biggest trade union in local government in Scotland. It represents workers across public services. It is the biggest trade union in Scotland.

The claim made in August 2016 was for £1000 flat rate pay increase, continued uprating of the living wage, and discussions about a strategy to recoup some of the losses from previous years.