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.