Care Reform

The second of UNISON Scotland’s briefings on the issues around care reform is now on line.

The care reforms being consulted on by the Scottish Government could impact on a wide range of sectors and services. As such it is important that there is engagement across UNISON with these proposals.   

 Care Futures will be a series of briefings that will provide UNISON Scotland branches and members with information to help discuss and develop UNISON’s approach to the reform of care.

This second edition looks at what Fair work would mean in a National Care Service

The briefing is attached or can be accessed on the UNISON Scotland website.

Letter to COSLA re Pay

SJC Pay 2021


As you know UNISON commenced a formal statutory industrial action ballot on 1st September, of members employed in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste and recycling services, over the 2021 Pay offer.

The ballot closed yesterday and we wanted to update you on our position.
Each individual employer has been informed of their results directly by our UNISON Ballots team. Employers should remember that this was a disaggregated ballot, targeted at only a small percentage of UNISON members.

The national turnout in this ballot was 42.4%. Whilst individual employer turnouts vary considerably, with us reaching the required 50% threshold in a number of areas, it should be noted that this is one of, if not the, highest turnout in a national ballot in local government ever achieved since the 2016 Trade Union Act took effect.

In every area the percentage of those voting who did so in favour of taking strike action was overwhelming, including a number who had 100% of those balloted voting in favour of taking strike action. There is a very clear message to the employer from our members that the offer currently on the table is not acceptable.

It is now more than 9 months since the Joint Trade Unions submitted our pay claim, on behalf of the 200k local government workers covered by the Scottish Joint Council negotiating machinery, and 18 months into a global pandemic which has seen them working flat out on the frontline with no reward. Our members are now at breaking point and are worth more than what is on offer.
We urge you to come back to the negotiating table with proposals that will take consideration of, and reward, their significant contribution.
Yours sincerely,

Johanna Baxter
UNISON Scotland, Head of Local Government

UNISON formally balloted members across 31 Local Authorities

As you will be aware UNISON formally balloted members across 31 Local Authorities employed in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste and recycling services regarding the LG Pay Offer. That ballot closed yesterday Wednesday 22nd September 2021.

We would advise that on the close of the ballot we did not reach the statutory turnout threshold in this local authority, set by the Anti Trade Union Bill needed to take action by a very thin margin, however 97.44% of members in the Stirling ballot return voted for Industrial Strike Action which demonstrates a strength of feeling.

I can further advise that on this basis the UNISON Scotland Local Government Committee are considering its next steps and will keep you updated on any further action.

Green Survey

A ‘green’ survey organised by UNISON UK in conjunction with Leeds University is now online here: https://leedsubs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7Utl9m2Zr6gwyRE

The survey asks how climate change and moving towards a greener economy might affect workers and communities. Even if you are not sure about some of these topics researchers still want to hear from you to help make sure that all views are heard.

The survey has been designed by researchers at the University of Leeds and UNISON is participating to learn more about what members know about climate change and how they are being involved.  

It will take 15 minutes to fill in. Your details will be confidential and responses will be anonymous unless you want to be contacted again with further details of next steps in research. There is space at the end to leave contact details if you wish. 

Green UNISON Week, 18 – 26 September

#GreenWorkplace #JustTransition #DivestFromFossilFuels #COP26 #ClimateJustice

The week provides an opportunity to step up calls for urgent action on climate change, support youth climate strikers AND build towards a massive turnout of Scottish members at the Global Day of Action on Saturday 6 November during the United Nations COP 26 Climate Summit.

Thursday 16 September, 10am – 1pm.

Adaptation in the Workplace, free interactive workshop for all Scottish trade unionists.

Take this short survey on your experiences of how the Scottish climate affects your workplace.

Wednesday 22 September

ITUC Global Day of Action to climate and employment-proof work: take part in a global conversation about our future.

Thursday 23 September, 12.30pm

UNISON Green Week lunchtime webinar: register here to find out more about what members can do to green public services and organise to support the November 6th Cop26 Global day of Action for Climate Justice demonstrations and rallies in 10 cities across the UK.

Friday 24 September

Global youth climate strike: events planned across Scotland, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.

Anti-trade union laws mean that UNISON branches cannot take strike action, but individuals can show their support in other ways, such as attending events in their own time or offering help with stewarding.

September and October

Take One Action Film Festival nurtures communal exploration of the stories, ideas and questions at the heart of positive social change.  Through film screenings, conversation and enquiry, the festival brings people together to inspire a fairer, more sustainable and more fulfilling world, in Scotland and beyond.

Saturday 6 November

COP26 Global Day of Action, Glasgow: Worldwide demonstrations demanding that the UN Climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow deliver climate justice.  UNISON members are encouraged to join thousands of protesters for the rally and march in Glasgow calling on world leaders to act now on the climate emergency.

Sunday 7 to Wednesday 10 November

People’s Summit for Climate Justice aims to bring together the climate justice movement to discuss, learn and strategise for system change.  Join in online from anywhere in the world, or in person in Glasgow.

UNISON is part of the COP26 Coalition.  To find out more about the COP Climate Summit in Glasgow and how branches and members can get involved, support climate justice and related activities, and take part, keep an eye on the Cop26 Coalition website for updates on details of Cop 26 Glasgow events from 31 October to 12 November.