***URGENT UPDATE*** – SJC PAY, A#500 Reward Payment & LG FUNDING CAMPAIGN

Dear Colleagues,

Please see below update for Local Authority and SJC Conditioned (red book) members:

Pay 2021

Yesterday the SJC joint trade unions received a response to our pay claim for 2021/22.  The offer put forward was to apply the public sector pay policy (as revised last week). The letter outlining the offer is attached for your information. 

The SJC Steering Group (COSLA) met, as scheduled, to discuss pay.  The employer outlined their offer. 

We expressed our disappointment that the offer fell short of our claim and did not even mention many of the elements of our claim.  We also outlined a number of questions we had about the offer that had been put forward.   

We have sent our response to the offer outlining a number of points and questions in writing and this is also attached for your information. 

We made the point to COSLA that negotiations need to continue apace now given how long they have taken to respond to our claim and the impending implementation date of 1st April 2021.  A number of further negotiation meetings have therefore been scheduled to progress discussions and we will of course let you know as soon as there are any developments. 

Please see UNISON Scotland’s press release:

COSLA pay offer is a ‘slap in the face’ to Scotland’s local government workers, says UNISON – UNISON Scotland (unison-scotland.org)

£500 COVID reward

UNISON understands that guidance has now been issued to local authorities regarding the implementation of the £500 COVID bonus payment for those employees in scope.

UNISON is in the process of arranging meetings with the relevant employers to establish who is in scope – COSLA have indicated to the Scottish Government that this payment should be available to all local authority employees (UNISON is also making representations to the Scottish Government and COSLA on this matter).

We have a number of concerns about this and know that our members will have many questions on it.  We are seeking clarification on a number of issues including eligibility and consistency with regards the application of the criteria it contains.  UNISON is seeking legal advice on whether there could be any equal pay issues arising from it.  We will come back to you with more information in due course.

Plug The Gap campaign 

The current pay negotiations underline the need for us to engage with members about our ‘Plug The Gap’ campaign and start mobilising activity on the ground.  We now need to shift the emphasis from ‘Plug The Gap in LG finances’ to ‘Plug the Gap in Pay’.

Thanks
Mark Ferguson
Branch Secretary