As you will be aware our UNISON Scotland Local Government Workforce members have indicated by an overwhelming majority, in a consultative ballot, their willingness to take industrial action in pursuit of an improved SJC pay offer.
We had hoped that COSLA Leaders would have recognised the strength of feeling expressed by Local Government Workers we represent and take a decision at their meeting on Friday 29th April 2022 to make an offer that recognised and rewarded their enormous contribution. Instead, the unions learned that pay wasn’t even initially an agenda item.
This is unacceptable, particularly as COSLA Officers have been insistent that this would be discussed at the meeting and negotiations progressed as a matter of urgency. As a result of those assurances we made clear that our negotiators were willing to make themselves available that day or any time prior to it, to help facilitate a speedy resolution to this issue but they did not take up this opportunity.
We understand however that COSLA Leaders have chosen not to improve their offer; that a motion proposing a revised offer be put forward was voted down and that COSLA officers advised Leaders not to make any revised offer until after the elections. Once again this demonstrates a failure of COSLA and its Leaders to deliver for these frontline workers.
We also advise that they have not convened a meeting of the negotiating committee since 4th March thus reinforcing the lack of respect for the negotiating process. This is at best deeply disappointing, to say the least, and suggests that COSLA would rather challenge their own workforce than the Scottish Government.
UNISON have therefore advised COSLA that we will progress our preparations for a formal industrial action ballot. To assist in the preparations for this I would ask you to check and update your contact details immediately, including up to date job titles, home addresses, workplace addresses, E-mail addresses and mobile numbers will be crucial if when moving to a formal industrial action ballot. Please ensure your membership records are updated before 27th May 2022.
To update your details call the branch office on 0131 558 7488 or 0800 0857 857 or log in to My UNISON at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/