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.
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 .