By UNISON, Aug 15 2018 03:38PM

Huge thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to talk to colleagues and share our messages about our campaign for parity in pay across local government.

Here's a brief update on where we are in the negotiations and the next steps of our campaign:

Update on Discussions with Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay

The last meeting with Derek Mackay, on the 26th June, went well and was as expected - constructive but not conclusive. The Scottish Government do not have a seat at our negotiating table and as such Derek Mackay cannot be seen to be negotiating local government pay. We did not anticipate walking out of that meeting with a swag of cash, but did want to take the message to him that the government need to seriously think about the message it would be sending out if they chose to make more money available for teachers, whilst denying the money COSLA would need to provide parity in the pay for other local government workers.

We had a robust and respectful debate and he has committed to meeting again, this time jointly with COSLA. We wrote to him again following the meeting - you can read that letter here: http://www.unison-scotland.org/library/Joint-Sec-Letter-to-Derek-Mackay-re-Pay-290618.pdf

And you can read his response here: http://www.unison-scotland.org/library/L-from-Derek-Mackay-100718.pdf

We know that COSLA representatives have also met with him to press for additional funding to ensure parity across local government - they also had a constructive exchange of views and he has committed to going back to them following their representations.

'Education: It's ONE Team' campaign & response from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney

Before the summer break those of you working alongside teachers in education participated in a short campaign to send a message to John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, that your work should be valued just as much as the teachers you work beside.

In a little over two weeks we managed to collate and deliver almost 3,500 postcards from you to Mr Swinney and I know that a number of our branches were sharing this message on social media and in their local press.

John Swinney has now responded to our campaign - you can read his response here: http://www.unison-scotland.org/2018/08/06/letter-from-john-swinney-in-response-to-education-its-one-team-campaign/

We are disappointed that Mr Swinney has chosen to respond in the manner he has. Carol Ball, Chair, UNISON's Education Issues Group, has replied to Mr Swinney setting out our views - you can read that letter here: http://www.unison-scotland.org/library/CB-L2-John-Swinney-080818.pdf

'Local Government: It's ONE Team' - Next steps of the campaign

Whilst COSLA have been consistent in their agreement with us about the need to uphold the principle of parity across the local government bargaining groups we need to give power to their elbow in their discussions with the Scottish Government and remind them that we will not give up on this.

And we need your help to do it. We're asking all members to complete one of the postcards below and either send it direct to Cllr Alison Evison or hand it in to your local branch who will collate them for delivery to her in advance of the next meeting of COSLA Leaders on the 31st August.

Any improvement to the pay offer would have to be put to, and signed off at, that meeting so they need to know your strength of feeling on this before any decisions are taken.

You can download the postcard here:


Feel free we to share this card with your colleagues by e-mail or social media and ask them to sign it too. There's a social media card for this on our campaign website here: https://i1.wp.com/www.unison-scotland.org/library/Local-government-ONE-team-website-banner-2.jpg

You can let us know you've completed it by tweeting us @UNISONScotLGvt or sending us a picture.

Making your voice heard to the employer will make a difference. We will continue to fight for fair pay for all local government workers and will of course provide further updates as discussions continue.

Don't forget...

Campaign resources, including A4 versions of the postcard and social media cards, can be downloaded from the website: http://www.unison-scotland.org/its-one-team-we-all-deserve-fair-pay/

All bargaining resources/information can be found here - http://www.unison-scotland.org/service-groups-and-sectors/local-government/local-government-pay2018 .

By UNISON, Jul 25 2018 03:15PM

Dear Member,

The results of our consultative Early Years Pay and grade ballot is as follows 96.7% in favour and 3.3% against. We believe this to be a unanimous mandate in favour of the proposal and would advise that we intend to meet with our members to discuss this outcome going forward. The date of this meeting is Tuesday 21st August 5-6p.m, Council Chambers, Viewforth. We advise that it is in all members interest to attend. If you are unable to attend this meeting please contact Lorraine Thomson, UNISON Stirling Branch Secretary, thomsonl34s@stirling.gov.uk

By UNISON, Jun 11 2018 03:40PM

Education - it's one team we all deserve fair pay. Look out for the postcard and sign if you agree that you should be entitled to the same fair pay increase.

Classroom assistants, additional support workers, librarians, teachers, admin, janitors, technicians, cleaning and catering staff.

Look out for the postcard - sign and return to your branch office in Viewforth no later than 22nd June - if you havent seen one, then call and ask Lorraine Thomson 01786 233093

By UNISON, Jun 11 2018 08:32AM

Get help with school uniform costs


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Local Government Pay - Update

Struggling to make ends meet?

Worried about back to school costs?

Help is on hand

We have set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of up to £120.

To apply, download the application form from unison.org.uk/thereforyou or contact

UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857.

Closing date for receipt of applications is

Friday 20 July 2018.

By UNISON, May 21 2018 08:54AM

UNISON have been working hard to secure an improvement to the current pay offer put forward by COSLA. This briefing is to bring you up to date with this activity, to outline our next steps in trying to secure you a decent pay rise and let you know what you can do to help the campaign.

RECAP - The Current Offer

As you know the offer put forward by COSLA was the same offer made to all four bargaining groups in Local Government – so the same offer as that made to Teachers, Craft Workers and Chief Officials. Whilst the employer termed this is a best and final offer we discovered that they had, at the same time as sending this to us, also written to the Scottish Government pressing for parity across the bargaining groups and asking that if the Scottish Government was so minded to give any one group of workers a higher increase than this that they provide the necessary funding to ensure that this extends to all Local Government bargaining groups.

Representations to the Scottish Government

It was against this background that the Joint Scottish Joint Council (SJC) Trade Unions agreed that we should 'note' the employers offer, their representations to the Scottish Government and that we should make our own representations to the Scottish Government in pursuit of our full claim. This position was put to the employer verbally and in writing on the 28th March and we wrote jointly to Derek Mackay MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, pressing the issue of parity and calling for additional funding for COSLA to deliver an increase which addressed both the cost of living and an element of restoration. The objective in doing both of these things was two-fold - to call on the Scottish Government to provide COSLA with additional funding to meet our claim and to keep the employer at the negotiating table.

We received a response from the Cabinet Secretary’s office on the 25th April. It is fair to say that this did not address the concerns outlined in our initial correspondence and we therefore wrote to him again pressing these points further. That further letter seemed to touch a nerve as we received by, almost immediate, return an invitation to meet with Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. Given the significance of those discussions with the Scottish Government, and the potential for those to impact on our discussions with COSLA, the negotiating meeting that had been scheduled for the 4th May 2018 was postponed.

Meeting with Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution

The meeting with Derek Mackay MSP took place on the 10th May 2018 and is best described as constructive but not conclusive. We pressed him on a number of issues including the overall funding settlement for local government, the application of the public sector pay policy, the issue of parity in the level of increases applied across the public sector, the impact of many years of below inflation increases and increased workloads. It was notable from this discussion that the Scottish Government are very focused on delivery of their education agenda – and remain in discussion with the Teachers unions about their pay increase - but we pointed out that this would not be achieved without the efforts of our members in Local Government. There were a number of issues on which the Cabinet Secretary agreed to provide us with more information and we left with an offer of a further meeting.

Further Representations to the Scottish Government

On the 15th May we wrote again to the Cabinet Secretary confirming our wish to meet again and outlining the issues we thought could be usefully progressed – you can read a copy of that letter here. We also understand that COSLA have also written a further letter to him challenging the Scottish Government’s overall funding settlement figures.

Next steps

We expect to meet again with the Cabinet Secretary soon and, following that, reschedule our talks with COSLA. At that stage we hope to be in a better position to know if there is any more money available to improve the offer that is currently before us and we will keep you up to speed with those discussions. We continue to believe there is a window of opportunity here that we should explore before taking a view on whether we have an offer we could recommend to you in a ballot. That may take some time and that window of opportunity may prove fruitful, or it may not, but we believe we have a responsibility to explore it before making a recommendation to you. In the meantime we will continue to work with our trade union colleagues on a co-ordinated approach to lobbying the Scottish Government and your employer in pursuit of our full claim.

We hope this update is helpful but if you have any questions or queries please don't hesitate in contacting us on j.baxter@unison.co.uk.

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