Thursday, 29 May 2014

10th anniversary of nursery nurse victory

It is 10 years since nursery nurses in Scotland returned to work after a year- long dispute culminating in up to 13 weeks of all out strike. It was the longest strike in Scotland since the miners’ strike.

It may not be surprising for a women dominated profession that nursery nurse pay had not been reviewed for 15 years and they had been waiting 18 months for a response on their claim.

They had mounted demonstrations, submitted a 20,000 signature petition to the Scottish Parliament and lobbied parents, councillors and MSPs. With no progress their patience ran out and they balloted for action.

In a 64% return over 90% voted to take strike action and action short of strike action.

Strikes began on 20 May 2003 in Glasgow and the West and were then co-ordinated across Scotland in a rolling programme to seek a national settlement that would address the pitifully low pay and low value councils afforded these workers.

UNISON Scotland website not updating

We cannot update the  UNISON Scotland website at the moment. Please check the blog at or facebook and twitter for updates until the problem is sorted by our service provider. We will issue further updates on the blog as we get them.

Consultative Ballot on Local Gov Pay launched

UNISON Scotland Local Government leaders have announced a consultative ballot of members in local government on pay. Make sure you get your ballot paper: Click here to update your address details
   The ballot will run from 9 June - 7 July. It will be a postal ballot to members home addresses and UNISON's Local Government Committee is urging members to support a full industrial action ballot. Click here for updates
    The Scottish Employers have rejected UNISON’s 2014 Pay Claim for £1 per hour and consolidation of the living wage. It is their view that pay has been settled until April 2015. This is because, after UNISON members accepted a 1% rise in 2013 in good faith, the employers imposed 1% for 2013 and 2014.

Worried about back to school costs?

UNISON has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of up to £120.
   To apply or find out more about other help that is available visit the UNISON UK website or click here for a form on the UNISON Scotland site. You can also contact your UNISON branch (see branch contacts here)
   Closing date for receipt of applications is 11 July 2014.
PS. If you know of other members who may need our help, please pass this on!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Closure of Dumfries police control room is ‘tip of the iceberg’, says UNISON

Tuesday 27 May 2014

UNISON, Scotland's largest union representing police staff, has condemned the closure of Dumfries Police Control Room later this week (Friday) and says communities will suffer as a result.

The move is the first of five planned control room closures announced by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) earlier this year as part of a 'restructure'. The tasks currently performed at the control room - including dealing with emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and dispatching police officers to incidents - will move to Glasgow Service Centre and area control rooms.

George McIrvine, Branch Secretary of UNISON’s Police Staff Scotland Branch, said: 
"A huge amount of local knowledge will be lost and communities will suffer as a result. Now, when a member of the public calls, they will be speaking to a central control centre many miles away. There is understandably a lot of anger in local communities.

Friday, 23 May 2014

'Pay up now' - UNISON demands North Lanarkshire council stops stalling on equal pay claims

Date: Friday 23 May 2014

UNISON Branch to take to streets to pressure council into fairness

UNISON North Lanarkshire is stepping up the pressure on North Lanarkshire Council in the union’s long running campaign to end the unfair treatment of low paid women. UNISON is demanding the Council settle their many outstanding equal pay claims. As well as continuing to use  internal council procedures UNISON is planning to campaign publicly with  leaflets and ad trailers.

The Council has conceded that many of the 1200 equal pay claims that UNISON has brought will be settled.  The Council has had little choice in this after admitting that it had destroyed records, altered results of assessments, and its job evaluations were not reliable

John Mooney, UNISON Branch Secretary said:
“NLC cannot continue to dodge the issue of equal pay. We have been clear all along that the Employment Tribunal claims we have lodged will prove to be successful. We call on NLC to do the right thing and settle all cases now. For an employer to purposely change job scores which lowered pay rates and to admit that they have destroyed the paperwork is astonishing and UNISON demand to know who sanctioned such disgusting behaviour.”

One of the predominant groups affected are Home Support Workers and Mooney said:
 “Home Support Workers receive poor pay for doing an extremely demanding and responsible job. They are charged with looking after our elderly and vulnerable people, but who has looked out for them? Certainly not NLC who deliberately paid lower wages than these workers deserved. 

Home Support Workers have died waiting for the Council to give them what they should rightfully have earned. UNISON has again asked the Council to hear the grievances of this group of workers and settle the matter once and for all.” 

“Despite owning up to deliberately keeping low paid workers on low pay with no justification. North Lanarkshire Council remain at Employment Tribunal spending thousands of pounds of Council Tax tax payers money defending their actions. The Council needs to face up to its responsibility to its workforce and the people of North Lanarkshire and end this charade now” 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Scary Story about Europe & Trade. You won't win an iPad - but read this anyway

There are a lot of things that its in the public interest to know - but aren't really of much interest to the public. Even when they matter, when they are really really worrying, even when they are really scary...

So let me tell you a scary story...

How does this sound...people elect a Government, the Government pases a law .. on say raisng the minimum wage, improving health and safety or environmental standards

A Big Company doesn't like the law because it interferes with their profits (I know, who could imagine such a thing ... but bear with me). So the Company takes the Government to court and gets the law overturned.

"That can't be right" you are probably thinking ... Well it might b not be 'right' but it happens in some places and it could be happening right here if we don't make an effort.

The reason is...
(and thanks for sticking with us so far folks.. here's where it manages to be both scary and a bit technical)

The EU and the US are negotiating a Trade Agreement called The Transatlantic Trade and Investment and Partnership (TTIP). That by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But it may well include - because other agreements have - something called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) - which is just that process where companies get laws they don't like overturned.

Scary huh?

It's no surprise that TTIP features as a topic in UNISON Scotland's take on the European elections Public Works in Europe

However Europe votes on Thursday - and btw the vote on Thursday is a vote across the whole of Europe about the future of the whole of Europe. TTIP is going to be an issue for all of us. That's why UNISON has produced a Campaigning Guide to TTIP which has everything people need to know about what we need to do about this.

So let's try not to be scared, let's be determined and organised.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Proposals to introduce living wage through procurement shows light at the end of tunnel, says UNISON

UNISON, Scotland’s largest public service union, today (Tuesday) welcomed proposed amendments to the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill that would see the living wage introduced for the first time.

This key legislation, which will be debated at the final stage in the Scottish Parliament today, will govern how the public sector spends around £11 billion annually on goods and services. Today’s debate provides MSPs with an opportunity to put social and environmental justice high up the public procurement agenda, including, crucially, rolling out the Scottish Living Wage to all those working on public contracts.

Although UNISON would prefer making the living wage mandatory, the Scottish Government approach means public bodies can include it in their procurement strategies in a way that makes it clear to contractors that, for relevant procurements, bids will be evaluated taking employment policies, including the living wage, into account. It would then be included in the contract and can be enforced through contract performance.

Friday, 9 May 2014

UNISON Scotland calls for Europe of full employment which cares for future generations

9 May 2014

UNISON Scotland launched its manifesto for the European elections today (Friday 9 May 2014). The trade union in Scotland is calling for policies which end austerity and protect working people.

UNISON is concerned that with the independence referendum just a few months away and all the talk about the rise of UKIP we forget that the European elections, on 22 May 2014, matter for millions of people across Europe.

Lillian Macer, UNISON Scotland convener said,

‘UNISON is gravely concerned about severe austerity measures which have been imposed on EU countries. These measures have brought widening inequality and mass unemployment resulting in terrible social impact on thousands of working people across Europe. The decisions taken by the European Parliament have never been more important. Today we launch our European manifesto for a Europe of full employment for future generations’