Unions Submit Local Government 2018 Pay Claim

Trade unions representing local government workers across Scotland (UNISON, Unite and GMB) have submitted their pay claim to local government yesterday.

The pay claim was submitted to COSLA (employers) by the Trade Union side of the Scottish Local Government Joint Council for the period 1 April 2018 to 31st March 2019 at a meeting of the Scottish Joint Council at 2pm yesterday.

The trade unions are clear that this year’s pay settlement must protect workers from the sharp rise in inflation (the OBR is forecasting RPI inflation this year of 3.3.%), start to reverse the many years of real terms cuts to wages through pay restoration, and protect the lowest paid.

Trade unions have asked for a £1,500 flat rate increase to all, or 6.5%, whichever is greater. This is based on an above inflation increase plus an element of restoration.

The detailed points of the pay claim are:

A settlement that runs for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

A £1,500 flat rate increase to all spinal column points, or 6.5%, whichever is greater (based on a 37 hour working week). This includes an above inflation increase plus an element of restoration and should be applied after the Scottish Local Government Living Wage increase has taken effect.

An equivalent percentage uprating of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW), with the SLGLW being used as the minimum pay level for pay and all allowances.

An equivalent percentage or, the median paid where the base salary increase is paid as a flat rate, uprating of all allowances.

A commitment to redress the imbalance in pay, caused by previous pay awards which have been below the rate of inflation, over a period of not more than 5 years.

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland Head of Local Government bargaining, said:

“UNISON welcomes the Scottish Government’s stated intention to lift the public sector pay cap for public service workers. Our members, working hard to deliver a good public service in local authorities across the country, should be covered by this commitment. This claim is therefore both realistic and in line with the Government’s stated objective of lifting the pay cap for public sector workers.

“Our local government workers members have suffered a real terms loss in pay over the past ten years of some 15%. It is only right therefore that this year’s pay settlement must protect workers from the sharp rise in inflation, start to reverse the many years of real terms cuts to wages through pay restoration, and protect the lowest paid.

“It is untenable for the Scottish Government to starve local authorities of funding when it has received a £188m cash increase in its budget from Westminster.

“Austerity has meant £1.4bn of efficiency savings in Scottish local government since 2012 and 30,000 people have lost their jobs in Scottish local government over the last 5 years. The remaining staff are expected to do more for less. This is understandably having an impact on staff morale and job security.

“The key to the future of local government lies with the dedicated staff who provide the services to our communities. This must be recognised and staff properly rewarded through this pay round and in the future in redressing the balance of earnings against the cost of living.”

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