UNISON Scotland welcome COLSA’s response to the Scottish Government Spending Review Framework Consultation, particularly the call for greater investment and recognition of the local government workforce. The Scottish Government will not meet child poverty targets; address climate change; or secure a stronger, fairer, greener economy without strong well-resourced local government services delivered by workers who are recognised, respected and rewarded for the vital work they do.
COSLA’s response comes as UNISON unveils its Candidate Pledge for the local elections which calls on all candidates to sign up to 3 commitments:
• Recognise: the crucial role local government workers play in our communities and economic recovery. Ensure no compulsory redundancies or privatisation of services.
• Respect: Be an employer that treats people with dignity and respect at all times. Ensure fair work principles are applied and respect the professional judgement of local government workers.
• Reward: Ensure local government workers get paid a fair wage and we eradicate the endemic low pay that exists in the sector. Ensure workers get choices in post-pandemic working arrangements and associated costs are met by the employer
Johanna Baxter, UNISON head of local government said: “We welcome COSLA’s statement that there needs to be greater investment and recognition of the local government workforce.
Local government workers keep our society running. They provide fundamental services we all need, from education children, caring for our most vulnerable, cleaning our streets, ensuring public safety, providing health and leisure services and much more. Never more has this been more apparent than throughout the pandemic. Services did not stop because of COVID and neither did local government workers.
Yet local government has taken the brunt of cuts over the last 10 years, and local government workers have seen their pay and jobs cut year on year. That is why we are asking all candidates standing in the forthcoming elections to sign our candidate pledge to ensure these workers are recognised, respected and rewarded for the vital work they do.”
Mark Ferguson, UNISON chair of local government said: “Whilst this statement from COSLA is welcome more needs to be done right now to help local government workers. It is unfortunate that we are having to consult our members on whether they are prepared to take action to secure an improved pay offer – the Scottish Government and COSLA need to get round the table and sort this out. Our members deserve to be recognised, respected and rewarded for the vital contribution they make and the current pay offer doesn’t do that.”
Full details are on the UNISON Scotland website