Friday, 18 May 2018

UPDATE FROM UNISON SCOTLAND ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY

UNISON have been working hard to secure an improvement to the current pay offer put forward by COSLA. This briefing is to bring you up to date with this activity, to outline our next steps in trying to secure you a decent pay rise and let you know what you can do to help the campaign.

RECAP - The Current Offer
As you know the offer put forward by COSLA was the same offer made to all four bargaining groups in Local Government – so the same offer as that made to Teachers, Craft Workers and Chief Officials. Whilst the employer termed this is a best and final offer we discovered that they had, at the same time as sending this to us, also written to the Scottish Government pressing for parity across the bargaining groups and asking that if the Scottish Government was so minded to give any one group of workers a higher increase than this that they provide the necessary funding to ensure that this extends to all Local Government bargaining groups.

Representations to the Scottish Government
It was against this background that the Joint Scottish Joint Council (SJC) Trade Unions agreed that we should 'note' the employers offer, their representations to the Scottish Government and that we should make our own representations to the Scottish Government in pursuit of our full claim. This position was put to the employer verbally and in writing on the 28th March and we wrote jointly to Derek Mackay MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, pressing the issue of parity and calling for additional funding for COSLA to deliver an increase which addressed both the cost of living and an element of restoration. The objective in doing both of these things was two-fold - to call on the Scottish Government to provide COSLA with additional funding to meet our claim and to keep the employer at the negotiating table.
We received a response from the Cabinet Secretary’s office on the 25th April – you can read a copy of that here. It is fair to say that this did not address the concerns outlined in our initial correspondence and we therefore wrote to him again pressing these points further – you can read a copy of that letter here. That further letter seemed to touch a nerve as we received by, almost immediate, return an invitation to meet with Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. Given the significance of those discussions with the Scottish Government, and the potential for those to impact on our discussions with COSLA, the negotiating meeting that had been scheduled for the 4th May 2018 was postponed.

Meeting with Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution
The meeting with Derek Mackay MSP took place on the 10th May 2018 and is best described as constructive but not conclusive. We pressed him on a number of issues including the overall funding settlement for local government, the application of the public sector pay policy, the issue of parity in the level of increases applied across the public sector, the impact of many years of below inflation increases and increased workloads. It was notable from this discussion that the Scottish Government are very focused on delivery of their education agenda – and remain in discussion with the Teachers unions about their pay increase - but we pointed out that this would not be achieved without the efforts of our members in Local Government. There were a number of issues on which the Cabinet Secretary agreed to provide us with more information and we left with an offer of a further meeting.

Further Representations to the Scottish Government
On the 15th May we wrote again to the Cabinet Secretary confirming our wish to meet again and outlining the issues we thought could be usefully progressed. We also understand that COSLA have also written a further letter to him challenging the Scottish Government’s overall funding settlement figures.

Next steps
We expect to meet again with the Cabinet Secretary soon and, following that, reschedule our talks with COSLA. At that stage we hope to be in a better position to know if there is any more money available to improve the offer that is currently before us and we will keep you up to speed with those discussions. We continue to believe there is a window of opportunity here that we should explore before taking a view on whether we have an offer we could recommend to you in a ballot. That may take some time and that window of opportunity may prove fruitful, or it may not, but we believe we have a responsibility to explore it before making a recommendation to you. In the meantime we will continue to work with our trade union colleagues on a co-ordinated approach to lobbying the Scottish Government and your employer in pursuit of our full claim.

How can you help?
• Share this information with your colleagues and let them know what UNISON is doing to get you a decent pay increase;
• Ask fellow UNISON members to update their membership details so we have an e-mail address we can use to keep them up to date - this can be done at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/
• Follow @UnisonScotLGvt on Twitter for updates;
• Write to your local Councillor/MSP and ask them to support our claim.
• Recruit a colleague – colleagues can at https://join.unison.org.uk/

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

ADMIN & CLERICAL REVIEW - FINAL STAFF BRIEFING TOMORROW


The last of the Council-led staff briefings takes place tomorrow; UNISON will be there as we have been for the previous two.

The informal consultation finishes on Thursday. A last reminder then to contact us so that your comments can be submitted collectively. Please email the Branch Office at office@unison-angus.org.uk by 1700 tomorrow if you can!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

UPDATE ON PAY FROM THE UNISON SCOTLAND WEBSITE

UNISON TO PRESS DEREK MACKAY, CABINET SECRETARY, FINANCE & THE CONSTITUTION, FOR MORE MONEY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS AT A KEY MEETING ON THURSDAY 10TH MAY
The Joint Trades Unions, representing the vast majority of the local government workforce on the Scottish Joint Council, submitted their pay claim in January.
CoSLA, the employers body, put forward a best and final pay offer on 26th March 2018.
The same pay offer was made to all local government bargaining groups.
At the same time CoSLA wrote to Derek Mackay pressing the principle that there should be parity in the treatment of all four local government bargaining groups and that if he was minded to award additional monies to any one group that they would hope he would provide them with additional funds to make similar awards for the other bargaining groups.
The Joint Trades Unions noted this pay offer and also wrote to Derek Mackay, pressing him for additional funding for local government, parity of treatment across the bargaining groups and a meeting to discuss their concerns.
Derek Mackay’s office responded to the trades unions on 25th April 2018. No meeting was offered the Joint Trades Unions were concerned that this response did not address their concerns.
The Joint Trades Unions responded to him on 1st May 2018. Setting out their further concerns.
On the 2nd May 2018 Derek Mackay’s office offered to meet with the Joint Trades Unions.
UNISON’s Head of Local Government Bargaining, Johanna Baxter, said: “UNISON, representing the largest number of local government workers, together with the other unions, pressed for this meeting to give us the opportunity to talk to Derek Mackay about the impact of his austerity policies on our lowest paid public sector workers.”
“Our members deliver for local communities up and down the land – all day, every day. They are our bin collectors, our road sweepers, our early years workers and our home care assistants. The people who protect our most vulnerable and give us a decent place to live. They deserve a decent standard of living in return.
“If Derek Mackay really recognised the hard work and dedication of all public sector workers, as his recent letter suggests, he should put his money where his mouth is and find the cash COSLA need to give them all a decent pay rise.”

THE COURIER: ARTICLE ON STAFF CAR PARKING

We've seen the articles in The Courier in the last couple of days about proposals made by an Angus Councillor to charge staff to park at Council offices, schools and other workplaces.
There have been no formal proposals made to UNISON about car parking charges, and if there had been, our members would have been the first to know. Indeed, many of our members are required to have a car for work purposes, and many live in rural areas without reasonable alternatives to get to their place of work. Should such a proposal be made by the Council in the future, you can be assured that our response would be guided by you our members after extensive consultation and dialogue.

ADMIN & CLERICAL REVIEW - STAFF BRIEFINGS

Just to confirm, UNISON Angus will have reps at each of the three upcoming staff briefings and they'll be available after each one if you wish to raise queries or concerns with them.
Remember too, that an informal consultation is under way, continuing until next Thursday, 17 May. We will of course be responding to the consultation and would encourage members to contact us so that comments, concerns and observations can be submitted collectively. You can email the Branch Office at office@unison-angus.org.uk.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

UNISON There for You – School Uniform Grants 2018




Worried about back to school costs?
Help is on hand - “There for You” has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of £40 per child up to a total of £120.
To apply, you can either download the application form at:
Or to request a form, please contact the UNISON Angus branch office (office@unison-angus.org.uk) or call UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857.
Forms need to be completed and returned with the paperwork requested by no later than 20 July 2018.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

ADMIN & CLERICAL REVIEW


We’re aware that information has been shared earlier this afternoon by the Council with regards to the Clerical and Admin Review. Like you, we’re currently reading through the documents and assessing its implications for our members; at our first quick reading, whilst noting that there are no compulsory redundancies proposed at the current time, there are significant potential changes to gradings which will need consideration and attention.

UNISON Angus representatives will be at each of the three staff briefings referred to in the email to you from Alan McKeown and will be available afterwards for a conversation with you on a one to one. We also intend to hold members meeting once the formal consultation is under way – dates and venues will be announced in due course. In the meantime, should any member require support or advice then please do not hesitate to contact the branch office in the first instance; contact details are below.

Finally for now, an ‘informal consultation’ is under way and we want to be able to reflect the views, concerns and comments of our members to the Council. You all carry out important work for the Council and you know your roles and responsibilities well. So please do share those views with us by emailing us at office@unison-angus.org.uk. Every thought or observation is a valuable one and will inform the Branch as we work through the Admin & Clerical Review proposals.

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