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.

Climate Adaptation in the Workplace

 Thu, 16 September 2021 | 10:00 – 13:00

We’ve all seen news reports in recent days and months on the immensely destructive impact of extreme weather events around the world. Climate change is hitting hard. It’s important, in addition to work on how we reduce emissions in a Just Transition, to look at how we adapt, including at work to protect workers.

The workshop is open to members of all Scottish trade unions. It will, of course, be of particular interest to health and safety and green/environment reps, but no prior knowledge or experience is required. It builds upon the preliminary webinar held on 13 July, which provided an overview of how climate change will impact Scottish workplaces. However, all are welcome and there is no need to have attended the earlier webinar to attend this workshop. A video of the previous session can be viewed here:

This is part of a joint project with the STUC and is being taken forward by UNISON Scotland working with Adaptation Scotland. Contributions in the workshop (and from the survey, below) will help inform content for the handbook, due to be published during the period of the UN COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November. The handbook and video presentation resources are aimed at helping trade union reps to champion well-designed workplace adaptation solutions that help tackle inequality and promote social justice.

Please take part in this short survey if you’ve not yet done so. You can also volunteer via the survey for a longer interview.
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BSNHMLN

Pay claim – Industrial action

UNISON, Scotland’s largest local government union, has started to issue formal industrial action ballot papers in a dispute over pay.

COSLA, the umbrella body representing council employers, had previously offered staff earning less than £25,000 a flat rate rise of £800. Last week COSLA came back with a revised offer of £850 – working out at approximately 97p per week for the lowest paid staff.

The union says council staff who have kept services and schools running throughout the pandemic deserve a proper pay rise. They say the latest pay offer falls far short of their pay claim and does little to address low pay which has become endemic following a decade of austerity.

The trade union says that councils have suffered a decade of cuts and jobs losses, and that staff have received year-on-year pay cuts. It has meant delivering services has become increasingly stressful for the workforce.

Pressure is mounting on both COSLA leaders and the Scottish Government to find an urgent resolution to this issue. COSLA leaders met again on Friday (August 27).

UNISON intends to take targeted strike action, which means select groups of workers will be balloted. These include members working in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial as well as those working in waste and recycling services.

Lorraine Thomson, UNISON Stirling Branch Secretary said: “The last 18 months have taken an enormous toll on council staff who have been working flat out for no reward. Their courage and sacrifices need to be rewarded, yet the employers are failing to recognise their efforts. “These workers, mostly women, are amongst the lowest paid in the country and have seen their pay drop substantially in recent years. The pay offer falls far short of their colleagues in the NHS and local government workers are left feeling exhausted and undervalued. Scotland’s council workers deserve fair pay.”

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said: “We’ve all relied on council staff to keep our communities clean and safe, protect the most vulnerable and to work in our schools throughout successive lockdowns to allow others to work. “Without these workers going above and beyond to keep services running over the past year their colleagues in the NHS would have been left without childcare, our mortuaries would have been overwhelmed, our children would have been left without an education and our elderly would have been left without care. Yet to date they have received no reward or recognition of their efforts at all. It’s simply not good enough – our council staff are worth more.”

UNISON intends to take targeted strike action

UNISON Scotland Pay Rally: We Are Worth More Tickets, Wed 1 Sep 2021 at 18:00 | Eventbrite UNISON intends to take targeted strike action, which means select groups of workers will be balloted. These include members working in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial as well as those working in waste and recycling services

‘Council staff are worth more’ says UNISON as it prepares to ballot members on strike action

UNISON, Scotland’s largest local government union, has informed employers this week that it is to conduct a formal ballot of its members in a dispute over pay.

COSLA, the umbrella body representing council employers, had previously offered staff earning less than £25,000 a flat rate rise of £800. Last week COSLA came back with a revised offer of £850 – working out at approximately 97p per week for the lowest paid staff.

The union says council staff who have kept services and schools running throughout the pandemic deserve a proper pay rise. They say the latest pay offer falls far short of their pay claim and does little to address low pay which has become endemic following a decade of austerity.

The trade union says that councils have suffered a decade of cuts and jobs losses, and that staff have received year-on-year pay cuts. It has meant delivering services has become increasingly stressful for the workforce.

Pressure is mounting on both COSLA leaders and the Scottish Government to find an urgent resolution to this issue. COSLA leaders are meeting again on Friday (August 27).

UNISON intends to take targeted strike action, which means select groups of workers will be balloted. These include members working in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial as well as those working in waste and recycling services.

Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON’s local government committee, said:

“The last 18 months have taken an enormous toll on council staff who have been working flat out for no reward. Their courage and sacrifices need to be rewarded, yet the employers are failing to recognise their efforts.

“These workers, mostly women, are amongst the lowest paid in the country and have seen their pay drop substantially in recent years. The pay offer falls far short of their colleagues in the NHS and local government workers are left feeling exhausted and undervalued. Scotland’s council workers deserve fair pay.”

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said:

“We’ve all relied on council staff to keep our communities clean and safe, protect the most vulnerable and to work in our schools throughout successive lockdowns to allow others to work.

“Without these workers going above and beyond to keep services running over the past year their colleagues in the NHS would have been left without childcare, our mortuaries would have been overwhelmed, our children would have been left without an education and our elderly would have been left without care. Yet to date they have received no reward or recognition of their efforts at all. It’s simply not good enough – our council staff are worth more.”

Scottish Government’s inquiry into the response to the Coronavirus pandemic

Please see link for UNISON statement on Scottish Government’s inquiry into the response to the Coronavirus pandemic – UNISON Scotland.https://unison-scotland.org/unison-statement-on-scottish-governments-inquiry-into-the-response-to-the-coronoavirus-pandemic/