Local Government Pay Ballot Information

Pay Ballot questions and answers

  • Ballots are now being sent to all members in Local Government and the ballot will run to 5pm on 28th April.  
  • It is important that members do not share or forward their ballot e-mail.  The ballot link that is e-mailed is unique to each member.  If you forward it to someone else before you have voted and the person you forward to casts a vote via that link it will mean the original recipient will not be able to cast their vote because the system will have recorded them as having already voted.
  • Anyone who does not receive a ballot by Thursday 15th should:
    a) Firstly, check that it hasn’t landed in their spam/junk folder. 
    b) If it is not there, and you are certain that we have your e-mail address and have given permission for us to contact you by e-mail, they should ask other members in their workplace have received it or not. 
    c) If all else fails call UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857.

2.  A dedicated web page has been set up on the UNISON Scotland website which will contain all information relating to the ballot.  The page is at https://www.unison-scotland.org/local-government-pay-ballot 

3.  We have drawn up a number of frequently asked questions which are attached.

4.  UNISON’s key campaign messages are: 

  • The offer does not do enough to address the significant and endemic problems of low pay in local government.
  • According to COSLA’s own figures 55% of Local Government workers in Scotland earn below £25k per annum.  
  • That’s over 100,000 workers, predominantly women, earning significantly below the average wage in Scotland which is currently sitting at £31k per annum.
  • Local Government has not stopped during the pandemic.
  • But for our local government home carers our elderly would have been left without care.  They deserve better.
  • But for our local government cleaners, our classroom assistants and janitors our schools would not have been open to provide childcare that enabled key workers to get to work.  They deserve better.
  • But for our local government workers schools would have closed and our children would have been left without an education.  They deserve better.
  • But for our environmental health officers temporary mortuaries would not have been built and our hospitals would have been overwhelmed. They deserve better.
  • But for our local government registration officers we would not have been able to register the deaths of our loved ones. They deserve better.
  • But for our leisure and culture staff being redeployed test and protect would not have been rolled out. They deserve better.
  • But for our local government workers business support grants would not have been processed.  They deserve better.
  • But for our social workers our most vulnerable would have been left without care.  They deserve better.
  • But for our refuse collectors rubbish would have built up and we would have faced another type of health emergency.  They deserve better.

Update April 2021

LG Pay 2021  

Preparations are underway for the consultative ballot and further campaign resources will be circulated in advance of the ballot opening.   

LG Hustings – Thursday 15th April, 7pm

Three of the five major parties have now confirmed they will send a representative to our online hustings event which will be live-streamed on Facebook. 

Click on the image to go to Eventbrite

LG ‘One Year of Covid’ Survey –  Members should have already received a national reminder, however please see link below

Return of schools 

As you will be aware nearly all pupils are due to return to full-time school when the Easter holidays end. 

However, children who are on the shielding list are advised to stay at home until 26 April, in line with advice from the Chief Medical Officer. All other pupils, will return to school once the summer term starts. 

Strict 2 metre physical distancing between pupils in secondary schools will be removed and schools will consider how they can strengthen other mitigations. 

Following the national expansion of lateral flow testing, twice-weekly tests are available for all school staff in primary, secondary and special schools and for secondary school pupils. 

More info on the return of schools here: 


Reassurance of Safety of COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test  

There have been inaccurate posts on social media and on-line regarding the safety of Covid-19 lateral flow tests in relation to the use of ethylene oxide in the sterilization of the swabs. We urge everyone to get their facts from reputable sources. 

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, Public Health England COVID-19 Incident Director, said: 

 “Parents, children and staff should feel reassured that lateral flow tests used in schools have been rigorously tested and are completely safe to use on a regular basis. Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate and harmful misinformation.” 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:  

“Lateral flow tests have been rigorously tested and are safe to use on a regular basis. Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate and harmful misinformation. 

“The manufacturers have confirmed that 1-2ug/g of ethylene oxide is used in the swabs, which is well within national/international safety standards. 

“We are working closely with social media platforms to help them identify and take action to remove incorrect claims about the pandemic, including deliberately false information that could endanger people’s health.” 

Local Government Pay 2021

You will be aware from our previous correspondence that we urged COSLA to improve their current pay offer by today, the normal pay implementation date.  They have not done so.   

Your UNISON Local Government committee have met and agreed that we should reject the offer and mobilise for action. 

It is anticipated that the digital ballot will open on the 12th April and preparations are underway for this.  As part of that we will draft some FAQs and some key messages to help explain the offer and the rationale for the recommendation.  These, and other supporting materials/graphics etc, will come out to you in due course.