We condemn the insulting concept of a Pay Freeze and we will react to any other threat to our Pay and Benefits

UNISON Deputation to City of Edinburgh Council Full Council Meeting 10 December 2020

The local joint trade unions welcome the motion in the name of Cllr McVey.
Council staff, in all services, have been providing essential, preventative and lifesaving services throughout the pandemic without a break. Many of them have worked beyond their normal hours and in difficult circumstances to continue with the provision of essential services in the communities in which they live, work, and serve.
Through the 10 years of austerity, we were subjected to pay freezes, below inflation pay rises and cuts to jobs and services.
The UK Chancellors announcement was nothing more than a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of local government workers who have gone above and beyond their duties to deliver essential services:
• social care workers have been working in dangerous situations in homes of clients with COVID-19
• care home workers have been at the coalface supporting and looking after vulnerable clients who have not had access to family or friends during this period
• school support staff and other staff have supported the education provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers
• social work staff who have seen substantially increased caseloads with fewer staff available for work due to the pandemic
• environmental health officers where we no longer have enough staff to cope with emergencies such as the pandemic
• refuse workers keeping our streets clean
• janitorial and cleaning staff keeping our hubs, schools, and offices safe,
• staff working from home providing first point of contact to the residents of the city
• Housing officers providing essential services to our most vulnerable homeless people
• Mortuary staff and crematorium staff continuing to provide essential services under extreme conditions and risk
• The list is endless

If “the Council Leader and Depute Leader write to the UK and Scottish Governments to make clear that public sector workers should be paid fairly and appropriately by fully funding any future pay increases that are agreed between employers and trade unions.” Will they also be committed to ensuring that the value of any past or future pay award is not undermined by internal processes that diminish the Pay and Benefits of the staff that they claim to support, and that they would treat any such proposals as being unfair and inappropriate and act accordingly?

Tom Connolly, Branch Secretary