Local government unions call for a fair and decent pay increase as they submit joint pay claim
18th January 2022
Local government trade unions have today (Tuesday 18 January 2022) submitted a joint pay claim to COSLA calling for a ‘fair and decent' pay increase to make up for decades of cuts and to recognise the vital role these workers have played during the pandemic.
The three trade unions - UNISON, Unite and GMB - submitted the pay claim calling for:
• A £3,000 flat rate increase to all spinal column points (based on a 35 hr working week).
• A minimum hourly rate of £12 per hour.
• All allowances to be automatically uprated in line with October inflation rates.
• Payment of all professional fees incurred by members in the course of their employment.
• A no-detriment reduction in the working week to 35 hours.
• Agreement of home/hybrid working guidance.
• A Job evaluation review of all roles that have changed during the pandemic.
• No less than parity with other local government bargaining groups.
• Fair funding for local government to protect jobs and services.
Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland's head of local government, said: "Youth workers, care workers, refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, community workers, street cleaners and so many more have gone above and beyond during the pandemic keeping schools open, supporting our NHS, ensuring communities are safe and providing essential services often at risk to their own health.
"After years of declining pay and cuts to local government budgets it is time for COSLA and the Scottish Government to get round the table to ensure sufficient funding is available to give our dedicated local government workers the fair and decent pay rise they deserve.
"With 55% of local government workers earning below £25k per annum, low pay remains a significant issue and this year’s settlement must not only protect workers from steep increases to everyday costs, like energy and gas, but also prevent pay from falling back further and should start to reverse the many years of real-terms cuts to wages.
"Industrial action was only narrowly averted in the last pay round. This years negotiations need to progress at pace to ensure we don't end up in the same position again this year. "
All the results for the 2022 Highland Council election have been declared. They are as follows: Independent - 21 Scottish Conservative and Unionist - 10 Scottish Green Party - 4 Scottish Labour Party - 2 Scottish Liberal Democrats - 15 Scottish National Party (SNP) - 22 Total elected 74 The first meeting of the new Council will be held on Thursday 26 May.
Postal votes are being opened every day but will not be counted until Friday 6th May along with the votes cast at polling stations. So far Thurso and West Caithness have returned 1947 out of 3049 issued amounting to 63.86% Meanwhile Wick and East Caithness have returned 1791 out of 3111 - 57.57%.
The Highland Council is inviting individuals, community groups and local businesses in Thurso to have their say on determining how the historic centre of the town is managed in the future. Following the success of an event held at the end of March, the Council will be hosting another public drop-in session at the start of May to highlight the draft Thurso Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan and encourage input and feedback from the local community.
The search is on for a new Youth Convener to champion the cause of young people in the Highlands. The Highland Youth Convener is a sounding board for youth issues in the Highlands and has a direct line into policy makers and decision takers.
The Highland Council and their development partners Hub North Scotland (Wick) ltd have agreed that reinstatement works for a section of wall cladding for the games hall at Wick Community Campus will be carried out during the coming summer holiday period. This is to minimise disruption to the building users, in particular pupils at Wick High School, who are currently undergoing national exams until June.
Highland Council Trading Standards are warning unsuspecting members of the public to be on their guard and not fall victim to a COVID-19 contact tracing text scam that is currently in circulation. The scam involves an unsolicited text message from ‘TestNTrace' advising the recipient that they have been a close contact of someone who has contracted the Omicron variant.
New funding has been secured for the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project to create innovative and interactive digital content showcasing people's stories of the region. The grant comes from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Sponsorship and support for the awards ceremony was provided by TUSKER and the Inverness Common Good Fund. The Council extends its thanks to both for making last week's celebration possible.
The Highland Council is embracing the climate change agenda by increasing the amount of set aside and wildlife corridors across the area. In 2019, Highland Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency and have committed to being a low carbon Highlands by 2025.
With less than two weeks until the voter registration deadline for local elections in May, the Electoral Registration Officer for Highland & Western Isles urges residents to make sure they are registered in time. Anyone living in Scotland who will be 16 or over on 5 May, can register to vote in these elections.