Social Care Direct votes to strike is dispute over worker voice

Senior social workers have voted 100% in favour of strike action

Senior Practitioners in Social Care Direct for Children’s Services have voted to strike in a dispute in which the Council has failed to deal with a collective grievance over forced changes in the workplace within a reasonable timescale. The ballot closed today with 100% of the workforce voting and all in favour of strike action.

Members submitted a collective grievance in February 2023 regarding changes being enforced without consultation. We still await an outcome to the grievance despite assurances of one being imminent in September 2023.

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Pay claim 2024

Unions call for a rise of £1.60 per hour or 7%—whichever is highest

On 25 January, we submitted our pay claim to COSLA for this year’s Scottish local government pay deal.

We are calling for a one-year deal with

  • a rise of £1.60 per hour or 7%, whichever is greater
  • a call for early negotiations to ensure the pay deal is implemented by 1 April

Download the full pay claim for 2024/25 (PDF).

The Council are only budgeting for a 3% pay rise, but they are already doubting that this is enough—see 4.11 in the budget report to the Finance and Resources Committee.

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Celebrating You events

The Council are running several Celebrating You events to celebrate the work of Council workers and discuss the priorities and projects ahead, such as

  • ending poverty
  • net zero 2030
  • the Granton development
  • tram expansion
  • low-carbon transport.

Register for a celebrating you event

This is a good opportunity to hear from the senior leadership team and raise questions with the Chief Executive and Council Leader Cllr Cammy Day.

Events are on

  • Friday 23 February 3 to 4:45pm
  • Tuesday 27 February 1 to 2:45pm and 3 to 4:45pm
  • Friday March 1 to 2:45pm and 3 to 4:45pm

Reduction in employers’ pension contribution

Your pension may be safe, but is the future of local government?

Yesterday, Andrew Kerr announced that the employers’ contribution to the Lothian Pension Fund will be reduced. We give you the details of this, what it means to you and what it means on a broader scale.

Key points are that this

  • does not affect your pension
  • is happening across the UK
  • provides the Council with extra funding, but this is a one off.


Now, the employer contribution to your pension fund is 22.5% of the salary bill. This money, along with the money workers pay in, is invested to create the pot of money that pays workers’ pensions.

Every three years the pension fund reviews how much employers pay in.

The change will reduce the employers’ contribution from 22.5% to 17.4% until 31 March 2027. This is a more significant change than before.

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Preparing the pay claim

Thank you to every member who took part in our PAY 24 survey.

The workers that mostly engaged with us were in Waste and Cleansing and Social Care.

The feedback was that most members

  • want a flat rate increase, rather than percentage
  • work a 37-hour week
  • see improving pay as the prority
  • see a 4-day working week as the second most important thing to campaign for.

Next steps

We will now create a pay claim and share it with Unison and GMB, so we can agree a claim to submit to COSLA within the next couple weeks.

We will look for the claim to include

  • a flat-rate pay rise
  • a shorter working week
  • a trial of a 4-day week, with no loss of pay
  • a quick settlement.