Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Local Government Elections: Question Time!

Some questions for our candidates in next week's local government elections have been written by UNISON Scotland. Why not get in touch with those standing and ask them all, some, or even just one of these questions.....

Let the Branch know how you get on!

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

NEC Elections....some more information!

You'll see from the posts below that as a UNISON member, you are entitled to choose who represents you on the union’s National Executive Council (NEC). At the January Committee meeting, UNISON Angus Branch Officers and Stewards nominated the following candidates for the election:

Jim McFarlane – Branch Secretary, Dundee City
Kate Ramsden – Branch Chairperson, Aberdeenshire Council
Davena Rankin – Branch Secretary, Glasgow Caledonian University
Stephen Smellie – Branch Secretary, South Lanarkshire

Their candidate statements can be found in the election material that was sent out to you recently. Remember – for UNISON to function democratically and effectively it’s really important that we as members make our views known! So please, take a few minutes to read the candidate’s election statements and cast your votes.

NEC elections: 5 reasons to vote

UNISON members are electing the union’s national executive council – here are some key reasons why you should use your vote and return the ballot paper
map showing NEC constituencies and numbers of seats
Are you a UNISON member? You can vote for our national executive council between 3 April  and 28 April.
Lost your ballot paper? Call 0800 0 857 857
But why should you? Here are five reasons to use your vote.
1. The NEC makes decisions that affect your life and the lives of many ordinary working people.
It is the senior decision-making body of UNISON and direct the union’s policy and campaign priorities. As your elected representatives, its members use their judgement to take important decisions on, for example, pay negotiations and industrial action.
Whose judgement do you trust? Who do you think will best represent you? Make sure you find out and vote.
2. It champions public services.
Last year, the NEC supported campaigns that got the public behind public services. Considering the government’s austerity agenda, this work is vital.
The NHS, education, local councils and other services need UNISON to stand up for them. The NEC makes sure our public service agenda is prioritised.
3. The NEC ensures UNISON continues to be a member-led organisation.
Unions have accountable, democratic structures that give them the mandate to campaign for working people. Participation is the bedrock of any union.
The late Tony Benn once asked five questions of power.
  • What power have you got?
  • Where did you get it from?
  • In whose interests do you exercise it?
  • To whom are you accountable?
  • How can we get rid of you?
We’d be able to answer Tony.
  • The NEC has power to make UNISON policy (between conferences).
  • Members give it its power.
  • Its members work in the interest of UNISON members.
  • They are accountable to members.
  • And they can be voted out every two years.
So make sure you use your vote in 2017 and participate in our proud, democratic tradition.
4. The NEC’s structure ensures minority voices are heard.
There are seats reserved for Black members, disabled members and young members.
This ensures UNISON is an inclusive organisation, where all voices are encouraged and represented.
5. UNISON rules mean the make-up of the NEC fairly represents the wider union.
Since women make up two thirds of our membership, two-thirds of the seats on the NEC are reserved for women and 13 seats are reserved for low-paid women.
Considering women are not proportionally represented in Parliament or on company boards, we should be proud that the NEC is leading the way.
The NEC election is your chance to make sure your voice is heard. Ir makes important decisions, which affect the lives of many low paid workers and our public services.
All members are eligible to elect candidates to represent their region and their service group.
It’s a postal vote and ballot papers have been sent to you. Voting is open from 3 April to 28 April.
A helpline at 0800 0 857 857 is open from 11 April to 25 April for any queries or in case you don’t receive your ballot paper.
Find out more at unison.org.uk/elections

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


UNISON members have instructed their trade union to ballot 70,000 local government members across every local authority in Scotland on industrial action.
The decision was announced at UNISON’s local government committee meeting today (Monday) following a consultative ballot which saw 77.6 per cent vote to reject the employers’ pay offer.
Dougie Black, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: “Local government workers have suffered years of pay restraint and their pay is worth far less now than ten years ago. The cost of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise and, as a consequence, their living standards have been severely eroded. This can not continue.
“If pay had even just risen with inflation a home care worker, for example, would be paid £19,900 a year when instead they are paid just £16,900; an early years’ worker would receive £24,100 instead of £20,400 and a library assistant would earn £26,400 instead of £22,400. And that’s just to keep up with the cost of living.
“Fair pay remains a priority for UNISON. Our members are the cogs that keep local government services turning and they deserve to be treated fairly.”

Friday, 17 March 2017


Vote in the online ballot and reject the offer
You can vote securely at: unison.org.uk/lgscot17 from 17 March to 12 noon on 7 April, 2017. UNISON will also email the link to all members we have an email address for.
Why you should reject the offer
Fair Pay LeafletWhat’s not fair?
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, food and childcare continue to rise. But while inflation indexes show how costs are rising, the impact on individual households is often worse. This can not 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 you vote to REJECT the offer. This is an online consultative ballot. You can vote securely at: unison.org.uk/lgscot17. UNISON will also email the link to all members we have an email address for.
Am I being asked to strike? 
NO. This is a consultative ballot to seek your views on the employers’ final offer. This is a first step before a formal ballot is held.
Even though this is a consultative ballot, it is very important you vote. Due to the Government’s new Trade Union Act, it is now a requirement that 50% of members respond in a formal ballot before industrial action can be held. If this consultative ballot delivers a strong positive vote, we will then be in a position to move to a formal industrial action ballot.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

To: Angus Council

Protect Social Care in Angus

Protect Social Care in Angus
We call on Angus Council and the Integrated Joint Board to halt planned changes, service cuts and privatised Social Care.

Why is this important?

On the 1st of July 2017, Angus Council plan to commence the implementation of proposals which will see social care provision changed, services cut and privatised. ‎The number of staff responding to Community Alarm calls will be cut during the day, working hours will be cut, some staff will be forced to provide a car to undertake their duties and there will be approximately 170 job losses. All of this will impact on the most vulnerable members of our community.
We believe that the evidence does not exist to support these plans or to implement them safely. We believe that private sector interest to provide social care in rural Angus just isn't there. Care for profit is wrong. We call on Angus Council and the Integrated Joint Board to halt these plans and to reassess this strategy.
Cuts to vital care services will impact on the most vulnerable members of our community.
Please take a minute to sign this petition by clicking the link below. It only takes seconds. And once you've done that, please share with your family and friends!

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