Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Pay update - Members vote for action but turnout below threshold

UNISON Scotland today announced the result of the Industrial Action ballot which closed yesterday with 62.7% voting in favour of industrial action. However the turnout was 22.8%.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "As the turnout is below the 50% threshold, it is not possible to take industrial action under current legislation imposed by the UK Government."

• Number of votes cast; 15,214
• Number of yes votes; 9,540
• Number of no votes; 5,662
• Number of spoiled or invalid papers; 12

The employers have previously stated that they would be prepared to meet with the trade unions once the ballot had concluded and as a result UNISON will be seeking an early meeting to explore how pay can be concluded for 2017/18.

Inez Kirk, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee added, "The committee met in Glasgow this morning to consider the ballot result and were understandably disappointed.

"The ballot did return a vote in favour of taking industrial action but did not meet the requirements of the Trade Union Act 2016.

"However the result did indicate that there are a substantial number of UNISON members who are unhappy with the employers offer on pay and we will be taking this into our meeting with the employers."

Friday, 26 May 2017

Kate elected to UNISON lay leadership

Kate Ramsden, Branch chair has been successfully elected onto the National Executive Council (NEC) of UNISON. This is the senior lay leadership of the union and Kate will represent Scottish members on this body. She will take up one of the two female seats after this year's National Delegate Conference in Brighton and will serve for two years.

Also elected to represent Scotland are: Davena Rankin, in the other female seat; Maggie Cook in the reserved seat; Stephen Smellie in the general seat and Jim McFarlane in the male seat.

Scotland's Gordon McKay, who previously represented Scotland in the male seat, has now been elected to the Health seat on the NEC.

Thanks to all those who voted!

UNISON Scotland website
Summary results in full

There for you - UNISON Welfare update May 2017 - School uniform grants

Families on low incomes can struggle to make ends meet, especially just before the start of the new school year.

UNISON’s scheme helps members on low incomes deal with the cost of school uniforms.
The 2017 school uniform grant is now available. You can find more information and an application form at this link on the UNISON UK site please ensure that UNISON has received this by July 21st.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

UNISON Scotland local government pay ballot now open - don't forget to vote

The pay ballot for UNISON council workers opens today until 30th May 2017. We are calling on all our members to use their vote and have their say. UNISON is campaigning for a YES vote.

Why should you vote in the pay ballot?
Your pay is worth far less now than ten years ago after years of pay restraint and inflation.
Local government workers are seeing their living standards squeezed as the prices of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise. This can not continue – you deserve more. You deserve fair pay.
To take action we need a 50% return on the ballot. Let's show the employers that we care about our pay and that we want decent pay.

What’s not fair?
While inflation indexes show how costs are rising, the impact on individual households is often worse. This cannot continue.
The employers have offered:
• Employees earning less than £35,000 a £350* increase (*pro rata based on 37 hours)
• Employees earning more than £35,000 a 1 per cent increase.
• Scottish Local Government Living Wage is the minimum pay for all pay and allowances including additional hours, contractual overtime and other allowances. It will be pensionable.

What is fair?
The employers’ offer falls far short of our claim. We asked for:
• A flat rate payment of £1,000 for all employees.
• The continued uprating of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.
• A future pay strategy to identify and redress the imbalance caused by previous pay awards below the rate of inflation.

How do I vote?
UNISON recommends that you vote YES for strike action. Ballot papers along with a pre paid return envelope will be sent directly to members home addresses. If you do not receive a ballot paper then call the Ballot Helpline 08000 857 857 which will be open from 17 May – 25 May.

Am I being asked to strike?
Yes. This is a formal industrial action ballot. The consultative ballot that you previously took part in returned a very firm rejection of the employers offer.

What action might I be asked to take?
This will be determined by UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee later this month however it is likely that any programme of action will commence with a single day of action for all members.

Click here for UNISON Scotland resources

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

UNISON members to be balloted for industrial action – Voting opens 11 May & closes 30 May

A letter has been sent out to all members urging members to vote YES for industrial action in support of decent pay. Please note - the dates of the ballot have been changed to 11th May to 30th May 2017.

Dear Member
Following one of the highest returns in a full membership consultation, UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to REJECT the Employers’ offer (77.6% of those voting).

On this basis a decision was taken to proceed to a full Industrial Action ballot. Members have sent a clear message to say they have had enough of years of below inflation pay rises.

Members of UNITE The Union and GMB have both accepted the Employers’ offer, however the number of UNISON members rejecting the offer exceeds the total combined Local Government membership of these trade unions .

UNISON will continue to fight for FAIR PAY, putting our members at the heart of the campaign.