Friday, 28 August 2015

Local government pay offer made - ballot from 2 September

UNISON and the other SJC trade unions have been in negotiations with the Scottish Employers for a number of months on the issue of pay. We submitted a claim in November last year, the headline of which was an increase of £1 per hour. Unfortunately we were unable to convince the employers to make a flat rate increase in this pay round. It was also the case that the employers were prepared to offer an increased ‘pot of money’ if the trade unions were able to agree to a two year pay settlement. That being the case the final offer from the employers is as follows;

· A pay agreement which covers the period from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2017

· 2015 -2016. As of 1st April 2015, the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.85ph will be applied, following which there will be an increase of 1.5% on all spinal column points. This would achieve a Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.97ph

· 2016 – 2017. As of 1st April 2016, the Living Wage will be increased to the recommended figure of the Living Wage Foundation, following which there will be an increase of 1% on all spinal column points.

· A commitment from the employers to examine the feasibility of a ‘flat rate’ settlement in future pay rounds subject to the trade unions making such a claim.

The Scottish Local Government Committee have carefully considered this offer and whilst they recognise that it does not meet the terms of our claim, it is their view that further negotiations will not improve this offer. It is also noted that the employers have committed to discussions with the trade unions commencing in September 2015, regarding the full consolidation of the living wage and the deletion of spinal column points below the level of the living wage

It is therefore their view that this offer is the best that can be achieved by negotiation and that the recommendation to members is to ACCEPT.

A full consultation with members will now take place. This will be in the form of a consultative ballot sent to members' home addresses. The ballot will open on 3rd September and close at 12 noon on 25th September 2015. Members are urged to vote in this ballot so we get a clear view from you on the offer.

Any member who does not receive a ballot paper please email the following address before 22nd September.

West Dunbartonshire No Cuts Day 12 September

West Dunbartonshire Anti-Austerity Day, Saturday 12 September, 12 noon - 3 PM, Hub Community Centre, Kilbowie Road, Clydebank. Come and hear local and national speakers put the alternative to austerity
  • music from Pauline Bradley
  • free teas, coffee, juice and snacks
  • stalls.
  • Speakers from the People's Assembly and STUC Youth Committee.
Local speakers
  • UNITE - Charlie MacDonald
  • UNISON - Thomas O'Brien
  • GMB and Hazards - Billy McEwan
  • West Dunbartonshire Foodshare
  • West Dunbartonshire Anti-Fracking Group - Karen Dunlop
  • Speakers from Citizens Advice on Benefit Sanctions and from Disability Groups.
Click here for a poster

Thursday, 27 August 2015

UNISON statement on announcement that Chief Constable Sir Stephen House is to stand down from his post in 3 months time

Thursday 27 August 2015

This announcement is unsurprising. Chief Constable Sir Stephen House was put in an impossible position. The problems which beset Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Board are not down to one individual. They will not be fixed by his departure.

The Scottish government's arbitary political target of maintaining police officer numbers should be ended, as it is leading to the dismantling of our modern police force with thousands of civilian posts being lost. We need  a fundamental review of the long term funding of our police services in Scotland.

George McIrvine, branch secretary of UNISON Police Staff Scotland, said: "I wish Chief Constable Sir Stephen House all the best in whatever he chooses to do in the future. We disagreed on some decisions he made but the problems with Police Scotland are not down to one person. 

"Sir Stephen House was given the impossible task of merging Scottish policing into one police force, while having to meet political targets of 1,000 extra police officers, and at the same time introducing £1.1 billion efficiency savings target. These targets had little to do with good policing.
"Over 1,700 police staff have left their jobs while Police Scotland has been beset with problems. The Scottish Government must now review their manifesto pledge to maintain 1000 extra police officers as it is not working. They must also take a fundamental look at how we properly fund a modern police force in Scotland.

"Sir Stephen House should have publicly called on the Scottish Government to scrap all political targets and called for proper funding of our police service. Maybe now we can have a proper discussion about these issues.”

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

'Where is 'Your Survey'?' asks UNISON Police Staff Scotland

Date: Wednesday 26 August 2015

UNISON has demanded that Police Scotland publish the results of the Police Staff Survey immediately. This survey is expected to give a true reflection of how police staff and officers feel about working in the new single service. UNISON members are angry that the survey results have been delayed for so long.

Branch secretary George McIrvine backed Scottish Labour’s call to publish the results of the survey which concluded at the end of June.

"It was disappointing that the workforce had to wait two years before the employer finally agreed to conduct a staff survey without having to wait even longer for the findings."

“UNISON police branch worked with Police Scotland to shape the survey and ensure the feedback was relevant and accurate however there has been ‘radio silence’ from them for over 4 weeks. We have consistently asked that they present the findings as soon as possible."

“UNISON is concerned that they are delaying publication because the staff survey is not comfortable reading for Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. The reality is the survey will reflect what hundreds of police civilian staff across Scotland have been telling UNISON. 

"Since the merger to one Scottish police force the workforce are under extreme pressure resulting in low morale, they are concerned about job security and worried about what the future holds for them within Scottish policing.”


Notes for editors

  • UNISON has the greatest density of union membership in the Police Service of Scotland.
  • 'Your Survey' is the name of the internal staff and police officer survey conducted by Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Interested in UNISON communications? Read on....

The August campaigns and communications activist meeting at Dundee Discovery Point, was open to any UNISON member.

These meetings share good practice and test new ideas. Sometimes we focus on particular issues like social media, newsletters or basic communication skills; branches are also invited to share learning from specific projects.
At this meeting activists took stock of UNISON communications. We discussed good practice, new ideas, what can we do better and further support for activists?

Video conferencing, social media and recent training by Union Solidarity International were examples of improvements. Other good practice included the 1,000 Influencers campaign; Lanarkshire PFI campaign; the new Aberdeen University UNISON website; UNISON NHS Glasgow Clyde & VCS research with Glasgow University which publicised low pay in the NHS; and the New Lanark family fun day with a serious message.
Activists were also impressed with joint work of UNISON Stirling and Clackmannanshire Branches who are fighting a shared services agenda together.
What can we do better? Survey monkey is a great way to engage with UNISON members and can be used to boost recruitment. Social media is not a substitute for good old fashioned face to face communication but it is important method of campaigning. Perhaps we can look into facebook advertising which can be specific and as little as £20 per week to contact thousands of potential members. But it was not all new tech. We also talked about notice boards, which are vital recruitment tool and encourage members to get active.  

What support do activists need? Locally based training on specific issues like social mediaand the development of templates that can be easily personalised. Are just 2 examples.

Do you have other ideas? Have we missed something? If the answer is yes. Why not get along to the next communications activist meeting?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

UNISON Scotland Black Members' AGM: forms now online

Forms are now on the website for the Black Members' AGM on 14 November at the Scottish Parliament. Deadline is 23 October. See more at

UNISON Scotland Disabled Members' AGM: Forms now online

Forms are now online for the Women's Conference/AGM on 17 November in Glasgow. Deadline is 16 October. See more at

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Defeat the Trade Union Bill - STUC public meeting in Glasgow Tue 25 Aug

STUC - Defeat the Trade Union Bill Meeting 26 Aug Flyer

The Scottish TUC has called a public meeting to mobilise opposition to the vindictive Tory Trade Union Bill. Renfied St Stephen's Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow on Tuesday 25 August from 6.30pm - 9pm. 

Chair: Helen Connor, STUC Vice-President & EIS Speakers:
Jackson Cullinane, Political Officer, Unite the Union Scotland 
Lillian Macer, Convenor , Unison Scotland
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary PCS
Elaine Smith MSP, Labour, Coatbridge & Chryston
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary   
SNP MP (name tbc) 

We will campaign vigorously against this vindictive Bill. We will mobilise our members and our political and civic society allies to defend the legitimate human right of workers to withdraw their labour in protest against the unreasonable actions of their employers and to protect our civil liberties and the right to peaceful protest

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, 15 July 2015
STUC News release on Trade Union Bill

Monday, 17 August 2015

UNISON Scotland Women's Conference: Forms now online

Forms are now online for the Women's Conference/AGM on 10 October in Dundee. Deadline is 14 September.

UNISON Scotland LGBT AGM: forms now online

Forms are now on the website for the LGBT AGM on 17 October. Deadline is 25 September. See more at

Friday, 14 August 2015

UNISON Inverclyde launch UNISON advert at Morton

UNISON Inverclyde are proud to see their ' the public service union' advert being displayed at their community football club - Greenock Morton FC.

It has taken a few months to get the advert from an idea to reality. Inverclyde branch worked on the design with UNISON Scotland communications team, and with Morton football club.  They bought space on an advertising board facing the pitch. They got prime position near the corner flag, and they have a partner advert in the match programme which provides more information on how and why to join UNISON.

UNISON Inverclyde Branch secretary, Robin Taggart said  ‘This was a great way we can make a small contribution to our community football club and encourage those delivering public services to think about joining UNISON. It is a perfect partnership as UNISON embraces community as a key part of public service - as well as traditional trade union values in mainstream Local Government and Health. We have over 1700 members working within the public sector locally. Many of whom work in the voluntary and community sectors. We represent members within Inverclyde Council, Inverclyde Leisure, River Clyde Homes, West of Scotland College, Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership as well as many other local community organisations.
Robin also said, ‘We know that many of our members are Morton fans. So we would also want to wish Greenock Morton FC all the best for the coming season, it's fantastic that we are league one champions. Its great to see UNISON supporting our local team.
Joe Lynch, UNISON regional organiser said ‘We need to keep in the fore front of peoples minds that UINISON is the public sector union and we are the biggest trade union in Scotland. This gives us strength and solidarity. And we are always open to new members.  For more information and local campaigns please see

Joe continued, ‘Inverclyde branch are looking for as many ways as possible to get the message out there that UNISON is the public services union, we are a community organisation and we are easy to join. We know there are many people out there who want to join UNISON but for some reason never quite get round to it. These ads will hopefully just prompt a few more people to get on-line and fill out that membership form.’

You can see the adverts at all Greenock Morton home games!  

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Let's work together to make new QEU hospital a success, says UNISON general secretary

Date: Thursday 13 August 2015

Photo opportunity: Time: 12 noon
Date: Thursday 13 August 
Place: UNISON shop, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Road G51 4TF
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis is to visit the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital today (Thursday). 

Dave and UNISON's national head of health Christina McAnea will be given a tour of the brand new hospital by senior NHS managers, when they will meet patients and staff and spend time listening to UNISON members about their early experiences of working in the new buildings.

Dave will also officially open the new UNISON shop which is located in the main thoroughfare of the new hospital building.

UNISON general secretary (UK) Dave Prentis said: “UNISON is the biggest union in the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and we recruiting many new members every week. It’s important that I hear direct from them about both good and bad issues they face when providing day to day patient care.

"The new UNISON shop will be great asset. It will be a place where UNISON members can join up, get advice and support, and report problems. It's impossible to build a hospital as big and complex as this and for it not to have a few teething problems.

"Our members see things that hospital managers who are running a big hospital can sometimes miss. And they will have good ideas about how we can improve patient care. If everyone works together, this fantastic new hospital could meet its vision of providing world-leading patient care for many years to come.”

Notes to editors:

Dave Prentis will visit the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on Thursday 13 August 2015
He will be available for photos at the UNISON hospital shop at 12 noon on Thursday  

Hospital website is here

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Scotland remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki

#nomorehiroshimas Seventy years ago today the first atomic bomb was dropped by the US aircraft Enola Gay on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with a second bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later.

The impact was truly devastating, killing at least 70,000 instantly in Hiroshima, and tens of thousands more through radiation sickness. It has had immense long term repercussions on the health of survivors and for the future of life on earth.

The New Yorker magazine’s renowned report by John Hersey, described vividly, in 1946, what happened in Hiroshima and afterwards through the eyes of six survivors.

UNISON Scotland stands strong with people around the world who say ‘Never Again’ and want to see a world free of nuclear weapons.

Our trade union is proud of its longstanding opposition to these immoral weapons of mass destruction.

The trade union movement works with the peace movement, showing recently, in a joint report from the STUC and Scottish CND that Trident is no deterrent and defence diversification could provide productive useful jobs as part of a Just Transition to a low carbon economy.

In our campaigns against austerity we regularly make the point that the cuts we do want to see are the cancellation of Trident and its replacement.

Let’s work to end poverty and inequality and not risk destruction of the planet that is the home for all of us and for future generations.

Events are taking place around Scotland to mark the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries in Aberdeen, Anstruther, Ayr, Coatbridge, Dunbar, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Helensburgh, Irvine, Kilmarnock, Paisley, Peebles, Rutherglen and Stirling, as detailed on the Scottish CND website.

Let’s remember the dead and work for the living in a peaceful world.