Single Status talks - City of Edinburgh employees
Talks update and Joint Trade Union Briefing
20 May 2008: Members may see press coverage
about the joint union Single Status talks from time
to time following the release of council papers and
a statement from politicians.
It is important to stress the following:
- Statements from politicians about 'four times as
many staff' benefitting are not accurate at this stage
and no real assessment can be made until all the facts
are known and the negotiations have been taken as
far as they can go.
- At this stage we are not even into negotiations
and are sifting through information provided by the
council. We will respond to facts and not 'spin'.
- The unions rejected the original proposals from
the Council last year and we will obviously be seeking
improvements throughout this process
- You as members will have the final say - no agreement
will be entered into without that.
- Any figures you see in the press at this stage have
not been fully presented to the unions or analysed
- The unions are committed to tough but responsible
negotiations. As soon as there is anything significant
in that process, the unions will make sure you hear
about it. Anything released before that is unlikely
to be the full story and could be misleading.
Below is the latest briefing from the Joint Trade
SINGLE STATUS - JOINT TRADE UNION BRIEFING
You will be aware that the joint trade unions have
been talking to the council in relation to single status/modernising
pay over the last few weeks.
We feel it is important, at this point, to give you
an update as to the progress of talks.
To date we have, in the main, been gathering information,
scrutinising the job evaluation process and the grading
structure. The result of which has flagged up trade
union side concerns over how some evaluations have been
We have brought those concerns to the attention of
the council and are actively engaging to try to address
them before any negotiation can properly proceed.
The council's proposals on changes to terms & conditions
such as overtime, the working week, public holidays
etc are expected to be formally presented to us as you
read this and they will be scrutinised over the coming
days and weeks in the same considered way that the job
evaluation and grading structure have been.
it is unlikely that we will have any concrete proposals
to share with you for some weeks and your patience is
much appreciated by us, however we will endeavour to
keep you advised of what stage in the process we have
reached at regular intervals.
In summary this is likely to be a difficult and lengthy
process with the joint trade unions remaining committed
to achieving the best possible outcome for our members.
Crunch talks for single status
here for a briefing in pdf format
4 May 2008 Update: Talks expected to bring the
long saga of Single Status negotiations to a head, will
start on 6 May 2008. Union negotiators and City of Edinburgh
Council officials have cleared diaries from 6 May to
try to get a resolution.
Key issues facing the branch are:-
1. Any scheme must be 'equality-proof'. This is absolutely
essential for the union and indeed for the Council if
it is to avoid future claims.
2. UNISON has consistently said the Council is not
investing enough in Single Status. The percentage of
the wage bill it has so far allowed is less that most
3. The Council must address issues of recruitment and
retention. It cannot afford to have pay and conditions
that are not competitive with other neighbouring authorities
or indeed with the private sector. It therefore needs
to come up with a fair and competitive deal.
4. Forward-thinking authorities have not just relied
on protection for staff who may lose out. They have
addressed the medium and long term future of local government
by re-skilling the workforce, increasing the complexity
of jobs to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Edinburgh should do the same.
The Branch will keep members updated and, because things
changes so quickly, please check the website for any
urgent briefings or updates. But please also note:
1) That there is unlikely to be anything concrete
to put to members for at least 3 weeks.
2) That during this period members' patience will
be much appreciated , since most senior officers will
be involved in the discussions.
3) Whenever possible can members please go to local
stewards for advice and guidance.
As in all schemes, there will be winners and losers.
Our negotiators' aim has been to get the fairest deal
in an 'equality-proof' scheme, a fair rate for the job
and as much protection as possible for staff who may
lose out. It is not easy and the final decision will
be tough - but it will be your decision. Remember, only
members can vote.
Check back here for updates. See below for the history
of the Job Evaluation and Single Status negotiations.
Job Evaluation - what's happening
In 1999 members voted in a ballot for a new deal with
councils across Scotland called 'Single Status'. Every
job in local government was to be evaluated through
a recommended national job evaluation scheme.
The scheme would assess jobs equally and fairly on
agreed and transparent criteria. You know why your grade
is what it is.
After years of delay, talks eventually started in Edinburgh
and UNISON members voted to negotiate on a scheme. We
are still in talks with management on all matters relating
to Job Evaluation and Single Status.
So far 85 groups of jobs have been looked at. The Council
wants all posts with five or less people in them to
be 'allocated'. This would affect over 2,000 staff.
UNISON is challenging this. We think a fair scheme must
evaluate all jobs.
The Council has outlined a two-stage appeal process.
We must stress this has not been agreed with UNISON.
Although the Council is linking its conditions plans
to Job Evaluation, they have NOT been discussed or agreed
We and the other trade unions in the Council will continue
to engage with your employers on Job Evaluation whilst
resisting these changes.
Job Evaluation - Dispute Lodged
26 October 2006
Months of negotiations on Job Evaluation have ground
to a halt with a frustrating lack of progress from management
- Job Allocation
- Appeals process
- Reduction in job evaluation panels.
So serious is the lack of progress - and indeed attempts
to impose some aspects without negotiation - that the
joint unions have lodged a formal dispute with the council.
More details will follow soon in a bulletin to stewards