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October 2000 No 34 Pay Special

 Call to reject offer as action suspended to consult
Call a workplace meeting now! Branch Officers will attend to answer questions. Call 0131 220 5655
 * What you must do NOW  

  * Employers risk staff resentment





Call to reject offer as action suspended to consult

UNISON leaders are recommending rejection of the employers' new 'final' two-year offer which adds just half a per cent this year.
Strike action planned for 11 October and selective action due to start this week are suspended until members are consulted.

Reps from Scotland's 32 local government barnches voted narrowly on 2 October to go out to consultation rather than just outright rejection.

The problems with the offer of about 6.12% over two years (ie 3% from 1 April this year and just over 3% next year) are:

  • The employers argue that a two-year deal will pull in money from next year's increased funding announced by the Scottish Executive.
  • BUT 3% this year does not use this cash. Money like the interest saved by not paying the rise due on 1 April would already allow this offer without a two-year deal. They can afford more.
  • A two-year deal gambles on wage trends and cost of living next year. That might be worth it if there was a decent rise this year, but there isn't.
  • There is no weighting for the lower paid, no minimum hourly rate and the offer comes nowhere near the claim.

UNISON is ready to talk more. Negotiators want councils to open their books and look at the real money available.

"The employers have missed a golden opportunity to settle our fair claim sensibly", said Douglas Black, a lead negotiator and UNISON Edinburgh Branch Secretary.

"We are asking members to reject this offer and urging the employers to get back round the table to look at the real figures and negotiate a fair deal".

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Employers risk staff resentment

Vice Chair John Stevenson hits out at how the employers have handled the process

The employers' initial offer of 2.5% was a major mistake. They completely misjudged their staff who had no alternative but to take action.

Their new offer is also a misjudgement. People will not be satisfied with 0.5% after losing two days pay.

Members are not greedy. They are ready to settle for a fair negotiated deal. The door is open to the employers but they seem intent on slamming it in their own face.

They have to realise that the longer they drag this out, the more it will take to to settle it. If the employers stick to this offer and miss the chance to settle with honour, they will build up years of resentment from the very staff they rely on.

You have to question who the employers are listening to. You have to ask how they could possibly miss the point when 70,000 people go on strike, not once, but twice.

The answer may just be inflexibility and lack of respect for their staff's sense of injustice. Surely it couldn't be that they haven't done their own sums?

It would be bizarre if it was 'cock-up' that delays a settlement until after the major disruption of selective strikes by members supported by UNISON on full take home pay.

UNISON wants to work in partnership with councils in a shared commitment to public services. But that partnership must respect the people who deliver the services. The employers must look again, open the books and solve this dispute now.

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What you must do NOW

Time is short. We need your views in the next week or so. You need to get the full details of the offer, so...

  • Arrange a workplace meeting. Branch officers and stewards will be available to come.

Phone 220 5655 to get a speaker, we will do all we can to accomodate you.

  • Make sure you have your say. Attend meetings, look out for bulletins, reply to consultation papers.

The results will go to a meeting of all Scotland's branches for a final decision.

If the offer is rejected, we will still push for talks but the selective action will also start to put maximum pressure on the employers


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