Pay 2024: Unison get mandate to strike in 14 councils

Unison members in Waste and Cleansing to join the battle for council funding in 14 councils

Read all posts about the pay deal for 2024

Yesterday, Unison announced their ballot result for members in Waste and Cleansing, achieving a mandate for strike action in 14 councils across Scotland, with over 95% of members voting in favour of strike action.

Here’s the current picture across all councils for all Scottish Joint Council (SJC) unions:

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Pay 2024: Unite members vote for strike action

Ballot results: Unite returns strike mandates in 16 councils across Scotland

Read all posts about the current pay dispute for details of the pay claim, the offer on the table and more.

Yesterday (1 July) the strike ballot for Waste and Cleansing members closed, returning a mandate for industrial action in 16 councils across Scotland. GMB’s ballot returned a mandate in 13 councils. Unison’s ballot will close on 17 July.

The result sends the message to COSLA and the Scottish Government loud and clear—council workers are ready to fight for fair pay. COSLA call the current offer on the table—2.2% for 6-months then a 2% rise for the next 12-months—a “strong offer”. This is in the context of council worker pay being devalued by thousands of pounds over the past 15 years.

Brian Robertson, branch secretary, explained the dispute to the BBC:

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Pay offer rejected and strike ballot launched

Strike ballot opens on 5 June for action in July

COSLA finally came to the unions of the SJC (Unison, Unite and GMB) with a paltry pay offer for 2024/25 on Friday. Unite’s local government committee rejected this offer.

The offer is 2.2% raise from 1 April 2024 and a further 2% uplift from 1 October 2024 to 30 September 2025.

This is an 18-month offer, with COSLA looking to change the pay anniversary from 1 April to 1 October.

Download the letter from COSLA (PDF)

Preparing to strike

Today, Unite served notice to COSLA that we will be launching an industrial action ballot in Waste and Cleansing.

The ballot opens on 5 June and closes on 1 July. This could mean strike action mid-July.

Unite are balloting 29 of Scotland’s 32 councils—with only East Lothian, Orkney and Clackmannanshire not being balloted.

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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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