Over the Line

This is about your Local Government Pay Ballot. Your pay is very important to UNISON. 

Some important information.

To meet Trade Union Act. Legislation for Industrial Action there is a requirement to have 50% of ballot papers returned.   

Ballot closes on the 26th of July.

If you have not received a ballot paper yet and are working in a School, Waste or Recycling, you should have. It may be that the address we have for you is not up to date.

You should call 0800 0857 857 to request a replacement ballot paper.

Why Local Government Workers Need a decent Pay Rise?

With rising cost, energy, food, fuel inflation is now higher that it has been for generations. At the same time Public Sector pay has stagnated which means every local government worker is now far worse off, with many now having to make choices on what to cut back their spending on.

In comparison to other Public Sector workers our government clearly values NHS workers above those working in Local Government having now offered them a 5% pay increase. The 2% offered to Council Workers does nothing to address the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis or the contribution you have made over the last 2 years during COVID and continue to make.     

Why it is important to return your ballot paper?

To get a better than 2% pay rise, UNISON recommend that the offer is rejected and that you vote for Strike Action.

By failing to return your ballot paper you will effectively be accepting the 2% increase that has been offered with no prosect of bringing the employers back to the negotiating table. If you care about pay now and, in the future, please return you ballot paper today.

Support The Pay Campaign!

Here are some things that members have been doing to support the campaign.

Allans Primary School support worker
Waste services

Watch online:

https://fb.watch/dZzyly8Hp5/

Get involved!

Post, like, share messages on the branch social media.

Send us a picture of you posting your ballot paper or make a video about why pay is important to you we will share this on our social media pages.

Let’s get this ballot over the line together and get a better pay deal for you, our local government workers.

Online Q&A events about the National Care Service Bill.

The government National Care Service webpage has details of online Q&A events about the NCS Bill.

Register for an event to learn more about the National Care Service Bill

There will be an opportunity to learn more about the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill and ask questions.

If you would like to attend, you can register online for the following dates:

·         Thursday 21 July, 11am to 12pm

·         Tuesday 9 August, 6pm to 7pm

·         Monday 22 August, 10am to 11am (with BSL interpretation) 

An Electronic Notetaker will be available at each session, with BSL interpretation for the session on Monday 22 August.

Scottish Government’s National Care Service Bill E-Briefing

See the latest briefing on the Scottish Government’s National Care Service Bill.

This briefing focuses on the alarming attack on Local Government that the Bill contains.  

The briefing can also be found in online at the UNISON Scotland website

Social Work and the National Care Service

This briefing looks at what the National Care Service Bill means for UNISON’s social work members. The government is clear in its view that who provides social work and social care services makes no difference in terms of the quality of services provided to citizens and therefore no difference whether services are provided by the public, private or the voluntary sector. The changes discussed here are intended to be in place by 2025/26.

Statutory duties for social work are being transferred from local authorities to Scottish Ministers but will sit with the local Care Boards, who will also hold the funding. Once their statutory duties are removed, local authorities will have no reason to employ any social workers or provide any social work services. The Bill addresses this by introducing a clear legal basis for them to continue doing so.

The possibility that the NCS could directly deliver social care and social work services is the single most significant difference between the Bill and the proposals put out to Consultation.

The National Care Service Bill has profound implications for social work staff and for the future delivery of social work services.  It creates risks for social workers’ conditions and security of employment and branches need to urgently discuss what this means for members.

Happy Pride season

‘While there is lots to celebrate and be proud of, we can’t forget the discrimination and harassment LGBT+ people continue to face’

Happy Pride season to all of UNISON’s LGBT+ members.

As always, UNISON activists will be at many Prides across the UK, being on stalls, marching and promoting our LGBT+ equality work in workplaces and branches. And after the last two years, we have even more reason to celebrate coming together this year.

While there is lots to celebrate and be proud of, we can’t forget the discrimination and harassment LGBT+ people continue to face.

From failures to progress with reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, to excluding trans people from proposed legislation banning conversion therapy, the UK government has constantly attacked trans rights.

With the recent comments by the attorney general, about schools not having to accommodate children who want to change gender under current legislation, this is a clear attack on trans children’s rights and a dog whistle to transphobes. This is also illegal under the 2010 Equalities Act.

I made it clear at last year’s LGBT+ conference and I’ll say it again: I have never felt, as a woman, that my rights were threatened by giving rights to trans women.

I am happy that our national LGBT+ committee is making trans equality a priority campaign, which we are officially launching at our UNISON centre on Friday 15 July. If you’re interested in getting involved, please email our LGBT+ national team on out@unison.co.uk.

Meanwhile, our national trans ally training has been a major success, with over 100 UNISON members benefiting from going through the training. It’s activities like these, that make our workplaces more inclusive for everyone and I urge all UNISON members to take up the training.

Let’s be proud of our achievements over the years on LGBT+ inclusion, and keep equality at the heart of everything UNISON does.

Be safe, and enjoy Pride season.

UNISON cost of living special

The rising tide

What are the root causes of the cost of living crisis? What is the human impact? And how can we start to find a way out? UNISON investigates

“I don’t sleep very well anymore. You’ll be there at three o’clock in the morning, which is always the ‘dark time’ – even when I’m on shift, that’s the hard time. And it’s scary. You sit there and think, ‘If I lose this job tomorrow, I’d probably lose the house within two months. It would be that quick.

Pat Jones is a care worker for people with learning disabilities, branch secretary of Ymlaen/Forward branch and, somehow, still an optimist. Two months ago, the driveshaft on her car broke and it wiped out her savings. Pat was just relieved that she had a friend of a friend who could do the repair job cheaply for her.

Now, her daughter – a single mother and also a care worker – and two grandsons are due to move back in with her, because her daughter’s home became too costly to repair and she will have to sell it.

For the next 12 months, at least, Pat’s home office will be her grandsons’ bedroom. Her daughter will take her room, and Pat will be on the sofa, with her two dogs and two cats. Pat is just pleased that she’s been able to help her daughter and save her from getting into debt.

The rising cost of living has been a creeping issue for some time now, felt by most in terms of pennies in the pound. A single below-inflation pay deal could be critical for some, placing their finances on a knife-edge. But now, after a decade of inflation outstripping public sector pay deals, with the price of an average shopping basket rising at unprecedented rates, households facing the heaviest tax burden in the UK since the 1940s, and one of the worst energy and gas price surges in living memory – now, the cost of living ‘issue’ is a full-blown national crisis.

Simply put, this is a critical, make-or-break period for millions of people in this country.