Pay 2024 update: Support your striking colleagues to win fair pay for all

We are currently awaiting an offer from COSLA regarding this years pay. Unite have urged COSLA and the Scottish Government to make us a suitable pay offer that we can submit to our members in a consultative ballot.

The headline in our claim is £1.60 per hour or 7% —whichever is greater. Most councils have only budgeted for 3% this year, so more funding will be required.

Strategy for action

Unite’s Scottish Local Government Committee have started their ‘stategy for action’ campaign to ensure you receive the pay rise you deserve. We have decided to focus on Waste and Cleansing as the area to take industrial action if needed.

Everyone will remember the courage, strength and solidarity of our Waste and Cleansing workers 2 years ago which secured a wage deal which brought in over £450m of additional funding and saw a real terms pay rise for the lowest paid council workers. Since then they have grown stronger in numbers.

Support the colleagues that fight for YOUR pay

We call on all members to fully support the action that may have to be taken by our Waste and Cleansing members. Remember, they will be standing up for your pay.

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Social Care Direct votes to strike is dispute over worker voice

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

Update 16 April 2024: Planned industrial action has been postponed following meetings which arrived at arrangements that look to move the dispute to resolution. Strike mandates last for six months, so we will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure the Council follows through on its commitments to our members. If it fails, we will not hesitate to take action.

David Harrold, Unison branch secretary, sent the following email to Unison members:

It was the intention of members of Unite the Union employed within Social Care Direct to take industrial action from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. That action has now been suspended and will not take place.

The threat of this action persuaded City of Edinburgh Council to return to the negotiating table and it is hoped that this will be the beginning of meaningful dialogue, between the workforce and the employer, with resolution soon achieved. UNISON congratulate Unite members and their trade union for standing strong and reaffirm our offer of support if it is ever needed in the future.

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.

Details

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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