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By UNISON, Feb 23 2018 03:29PM

On January 2018 UNISON, along with the other Scottish Local Government trade unions, submitted a pay claim for a £1,500 flat rate increase to all spinal column points, or 6.5%, whichever is greater (based on a 37 hour working week). This claim includes an above inflation increase plus an element of restoration. You can read the full detail of the pay claim here and our short bargaining brief explaining it and what happens next here.

We have welcomed the Scottish Government’s stated intention to lift the public sector pay cap for public service workers and have argued that this must apply to you as local government workers who deliver a good public service in local authorities across the country. We also asked the Scottish Government for extra funding for local government to ensure your employer can afford to give you a decent pay rise.

The ball is now in the employers hands. We understand that they want to see the detail of the Government’s final budget settlement and then consult COSLA Leaders before responding to our claim. We do not therefore expect to have a formal response to our claim until the end of March.

So we thought this would be the perfect time to ask our members for their views on the claim and how they think they might be able to help us get the increase you all deserve.

To this end we have drafted a short survey to take the pulse of the membership. The link to the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8W75WX8 The survey will go directly to all Local Government members that we have e-mail addresses for and will start going out today. Because of the way the survey system is set up we need to send it out in 4 batches over 4 days so all members we have e-mail addresses for should have it by the end of the week.

We ask that members complete by 16th March and we will do weekly reminders The survey will take no more than 2 minutes to complete and will give us valuable information that we can use in negotiations.

We will let you know of progress in the negotiations and once the employer has responded to our pay claim we will seek members views on the outcome of the talks before anything is agreed.

By UNISON, Sep 18 2017 10:16AM

Thousands of public service jobs are being cut and each one of those is a tragedy for the person concerned. However, staff losing their jobs are not the only victims of the government’s attack on vital public services. Those left behind are expected to keep those services running with fewer staff and less money.

See the Stress Survey

By UNISON, Sep 14 2017 10:20AM

Every single person who works in public services needs and deserve a pay rise. It’s time for the pay cap to be scrapped, for the government to provide additional funding for public sector pay and for employers to put public sector workers pay up now.

For more than seven years, everyone who works in public services has seen their pay decline, thanks to the public sector pay cap. Inflation is currently at 2.9%, meaning that the cap is a significant annual pay cut for those public service champions – nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, social workers and so many others - who work for all of us. Public sector pay has risen by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016 while the cost of living rose by 22%.

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By UNISON, Aug 2 2017 09:19AM

UNISON has won a landmark court victory that makes it much harder for employers to ignore staff when making major changes in the workplace.

The Court of Appeal ruling means that for the first time employers will be obliged to consult with unions around any workplace issues that affect their members.

Until now, unions only had the right to be consulted where the law required this, for example in TUPE regulations where employees transfer from one employer to another, and in redundancy cases.

The ruling means employers will also have to involve unions in issues such as those around working hours and holiday pay. It will benefit thousands of employees whose rights at work are under threat and means that employers will face greater scrutiny over their treatment of staff, says UNISON. It comes just days after the union won its appeal against ET fees.

The victory came about after the union took up a case involving parks police who were made redundant by the London Borough of Wandsworth.

The Court of Appeal ruled that UNISON had the right to be consulted by Wandsworth over the job losses.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is the second major legal victory in a week for working people. It means that employees in any workplace where there’s a union will now benefit from greater protection at work.

“The message to bosses is they will have to treat their staff more fairly over pay and working conditions. If they fail to consult unions then they will be acting unlawfully and could be taken to court.”

By UNISON, Jul 26 2017 12:05PM

I am delighted to tell you that UNISON Legal Services has been successful in its challenge to Employment Tribunal Fees. Today, the Supreme Court, the UK'S highest court, ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when it introduced fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales. Since 2013, workers have had to pay as much as £1,200 plus to have claims for sex discrimination or unfair dismissal heard at Tribunal.

I am so very proud that it is our union which has successfully challenged this great injustice. As the Supreme Court has said Employment Tribunals play a vital role in enforcing employment rights by employees and workers including the low paid. The Court found that UNISON's evidence showed that the fall in claims when fees came in was 'so sharp, so substantial and so sustained' that fees could not reasonably be afforded by those on low to middle incomes. It also held that fees particularly deterred claims of low value which as we know are generally brought by the most vulnerable workers.

This historic judgement makes heavy criticism of the Government's actions. It found that the system of fees introduced in 2013 infringed constitutional rights. The Court said that citizens' right of access to the courts which is guaranteed by Magna Carta was effectively prevented by the Fees Order which introduced fees in Employment Tribunals. The level at which the fees had been set contravened 'elementary economics and plain common sense'.

This decision in our union's case will benefit all working people.

Our next steps are to call for the Government to

• quash the rules relating to fees,

• reimburse all fees paid since 2013,

• immediately remove all references to fees on ET claim forms and government literature, websites and advice; and

• pay UNISON's costs in full.

I would like to thank all members of UNISON Legal Services who have worked tirelessly on this case but particular mention should be made of Adam Creme, Shantha David, Ben Patrick, Kate Osborne and Grant Haycock and to Bronwyn McKenna, AGS, who has worked with me on this.

Yours sincerely

Dave Prentis


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