UNISON Scotland LG Pay

Stirling UNISON members not only met the ballot threshold but also demonstrated a massive strength of feeling  on the pay offer with close to 95 % voting to take industrial action if needed to gain an improved offer.

The UNISON Stirling Branch would like to thank all our members that were balloted and voted in the ballot giving us this mandate to fight for a fair pay deal for all Local Government Workers across Scotland.

Local Government workers in Scotland have been offered one of the worst public sector pay offers. This is unacceptable.

Local Government  workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland  have been made an offer of on average close to 5 %, which is a flat rate increase of  £1925 on all pay points, UNISON responded to that offer with  “it’s not enough to make up for a decade and more of lost wages.”

NHS workers in Scotland have been offered 5% and are being balloted with a UNISON recommendation to reject.

If you need to be reminded the pay offer in Scotland, 2%, saw the majority of the workforce being offered only £500.

UNISON Scotland LG committee and Branch secretaries will be meeting this week to discuss next steps.

Now we have a mandate for Industrial Action we will keep all members up to date going forward. We will be holding members meetings with members in those services taking action to discuss further detail. We will also be holding meetings with services not taking action and engaging them on how to support striking members that are taking action on their behalf.

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

Inflation and inequality briefing

Please view the attached a UNISON  briefing on inflation and inequality.

UNISON’s low paid members know only too well how much prices are soaring, given they are among those unfairly hit hardest by the cost of living crisis. This briefing covers inflation, the differences between ways to measure it, and why it is vital we speak up on behalf of those members who face far higher inflation than the headline rates; in rocketing heating, food and other bills.

This all matters in pay negotiations at the best of times, even more so in this crisis. All our members deserve a decent pay increase, not real terms pay cuts as we face the biggest price rises in 40 years.


Inflation impacts more on those on the lowest incomes, with food and very high heating costs a much higher proportion of their budgets

RPI is a better indicator of the costs facing workers than CPI (but it is due to be scrapped in 2030 in favour of CPIH)

Soaring energy bills are a major factor in the cost of living crisis, causing rising fuel poverty – heat or eat

People on benefits, disabled people & low paid workers, many of whom are women, are struggling to make ends meet, with food bank use rising & more need than ever for universal free school meals

Pay rises and higher benefits are key

Pay – A derisory offer & our rejection

The SJC Joint trade unions received a pay offer from COSLA this week(whilst it is dated the 28th of February it was in fact only sent to us on the 2nd of March). 

The UNISON Local Government Committee met the same day and decided unanimously to reject this offer immediately without going to consultation (the LG pay protocol procedures, allow for this).  We met with the other SJC Trade Unions later that day and they agreed to do likewise.

There was an SJC Steering Group meeting this morning with the employer where they formally tabled their offer and we notified them of our rejection.  We have since written to them confirming our rejection. 

UNISON will be issuing a press release on this asap and will send you further information as soon as we receive it.

read more…

Scottish Government Budget 2022/23

The Scottish Government announced their proposed budget on 9th Dec. This briefing outlines some of its key features as the impact on UNISON Scotland members based on currently available information. Further briefings will be produced as the Budget process continues.


The core block grant received by the Scottish Government for this budget was larger than any pre-pandemic budget ( 8% higher in real terms than 2019/20)  but lower than in either of the past two years. They, therefore, have more money to spend but the picture is complicated as there are still ongoing Covid challenges to be met. This was “a budget of choices” as Kate Forbes put it. The choice was made to prioritise Scottish Government’s favoured policies and initiatives, where spending increases, sometimes considerably. Other services received either standstill funding, or real terms – or in the case of local government actual – cuts in cash available. Improving public service pay does not seem a priority. Due to their deal with the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Government does not have to negotiate with other parties to ensure the budget will pass.

Personal Taxation

Income tax rates and bands are unchanged. The Scottish Government imposed Council Tax freeze is lifted. Given councils are facing massive shortfalls (see below) increases are likely..

Pay policy

Scottish Government pay policy applies directly to members in NDPB’s but will also provide the backdrop to other negotiations. The proposal is for a £10.50ph minimum wage rate. Other increases are to be lump sums rather than %ages: £775 for those earning up to £25k. £700 for those between £25-£40k. £500 for those on £40k+. This is below inflation for the bulk of UNISON members. RPI is currently at 3.3%) on the year – and OBR prediction is for inflation to reach 4.4% next year. Work towards a 35hr week is to continue but no targets are set or finance promised

Local Government

The local Government faces an almost 9% cut in revenue budget which will make service delivery challenges. The Scottish Government argue that this is compensated for by the money councils get to carry out Scottish Govt policies from other budgets eg education and social care. Cosla disagrees estimating this budget means a £264m (2.5%) cut, rather than the significant increase needed following years of poor settlements. Councils have a free hand to raise Council Tax for the first time since 2008/9 – to replace lost revenue funding would though involve eye-watering increases.


Health Board spending goes above £14bn. Overall this is a 5.6% increase with most territorial boards getting ~4.5%, with the ambulance service (7.8%) and national waiting times centre (11.8%) doing better).  Many services receive a flat rate or no increases but there are big increases in social care and mental health improvement. Some training budgets are increased significantly. 

Further and Higher Education

There is a below-inflation increase in HE resource funding of 2.7%. Specific priorities & projects (eg counselling, climate action) receive earmarked funding. Resource funding for Further Education remains at this year’s level. Scot Gov estimates that other sources of funding will deliver £190m. There is a doubling to ~£70m in capital expenditure budget for colleges. The headline budget for Skills Development Scotland declines by £5.8m claim is that this is compensated for by funding presented through programmes attached to the Finance and Economy portfolio.

Police and Fire

Scottish Police Authority budget increases by 3.2% which the Scottish Government claims will involve a real-terms resource increase. The police budget includes £29m for reform.   SFRS budget increases by 3.1%. £73.7m is allocated for funding the UK-wide Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) for the three Scottish Emergencies Services.

Economic recovery

The Scottish Government continues to see economic recovery from covid as being business-led rather than driven by investment in services. emphasis is on infrastructure projects, with learning and skills policies tailored to fit. Community wealth-building ideas through an empowered public sector despite ministerial rhetoric, don’t feature much.


The difference in treatment between the government’s favoured initiatives and other services (and those who provide them) is clear favoured programmes get significant spending boosts, others get flat funding. Pay policy reflects this. More than ever local government is treated as being merely a delivery arm for Scottish Government policies.