Local government pay ballot 2021

Vote YES for strike action in the local government pay ballot. UNISON is leading the fight for a fair pay rise for all local government workers.

See also UNISON Scotland Pay Updates and Facebook and Twitter
Plus recording of Pay Rally as leaders explain the action

UNISON is leading the fight for a fair pay rise for all local government workers. We are 18 months into the global pandemic in which you have worked above and beyond, in the most difficult of circumstances, to keep our key services going. The current pay offer does not recognise these efforts and we believe you are worth more – you deserve a proper pay rise.

Only by voting YES for strike action are we likely to get an improved pay offer.

COSLA’s current offer:

  • does little to address low pay
  • does not recognise your extraordinary efforts during COVID
  • would give you less than other key workers
  • does nothing to address work-life balance

Earlier this year we ran an online consultation to see what you and other local government members thought of the employers 2021 pay offer.  It was no surprise that the overwhelming majority of you voted to reject the offer and indicated your willingness to take action to achieve a better deal. Little has changed since then and we have exhausted all other options with your employer. We now need you to vote YES to take strike action to remind your employers exactly how you feel.

To ensure maximum impact of our action a select groups of workers are being balloted:

  • school cleaning
  • school catering
  • school janitorial
  • waste and recycling

All UNISON members taking action will be financially supported by UNISON.

How to vote

  • The ballot will run from 1-22 September.
  • You will get your ballot paper through the post.
  • It is vital completed ballots are received no later than 10am on 22nd September.
  • It is important that we have the correct details for you. You can update your details at my.unison or call 0131 226 0090
  • Or any other problems please contact UNISON direct 0800 0857 857 or contact your local branch

Use your vote – it is important the employers are in no doubt over what you think of their pay offer

If you work in one of the areas targeted for strike action it is vital you use your vote. Vote YES to strike action – you are worth so much more.

Local government pay ballot 2021 resources

You can find leaflets, posters and social media cards on our resources page here.

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Further information

UNISON’s local government members overwhelmingly rejected the pay offer in a consultative ballot earlier this year. COSLA came back with a revised offer this month (August) which upped the proposed flat rate payment for those earning under £25k by £50 (from £800 to £850). The rest of the offer remains unchanged.

UNISON’s Local Government Committee met to consider the revised offer. It was decided there was not a significant enough improvement to the offer to warrant a further member consultation and the unanimous decision was made to proceed with industrial action.

The current pay offer is:

  • Flat rate payment of £850 (this will be applied to SJC set hourly rates based on a 37 hour working week giving an underpinning minimum rate of pay of £9.75 per hour) for all employees earning up to £25,000;
  • 2% uplift for those earning £25,000 to £40,000; and
  • 1% rise for those earning up to £80,000 with a cap of £800; and
  • All nationally negotiated allowances, not including First Aid allowance, uplifted by 2%.

You can see COSLA’s revised offer letter here.

The Joint Trade Union’s submitted our pay claim to COSLA on the 16th December. You can read the SJC 2021 pay claim here.

This offer is not good enough – local government workers are worth more.

  • The offer falls far short of the flat rate or % increase outlined in our claim and far short of that being offered to other public sector workers.
  • The current offer does not do enough for the lowest paid – 55% of Local Government workers earn below £25k per year.
  • The offer contains no provision for restoring pay levels to pre-austerity levels.
  • The offer contains no provisions to pay the registration fees of workers who are required to maintain a regulatory registration to undertake their role or any other costs associated with undertaking their role.
  • The offer contains no commitment to explore a no-detriment reduction in the working week or any other measure to address the increased demands placed on our members or their ability to maintain a work-life balance.

Johanna Baxter UNISON Scotland head of local government said:

“According to COSLA’s own figures 55% of the Scottish Local Government workforce earns less than £25k per annum – that’s over 100,000 workers earning significantly below the average wage of £32,000 per annum. The current offer does not address the issue of endemic low pay for these workers.

Without these workers going above and beyond to keep services running over the past year their colleagues in the NHS would have been left without childcare, our mortuaries would have been overwhelmed, our children would have been left without an education and our elderly would have been left without care. Yet to date they have received no reward or recognition of their efforts at all. It’s simply not good enough.”

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