Union to ballot local authority workers

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UNISON members have instructed their trade union to ballot 70,000 local government members across every local authority in Scotland on industrial action.

The decision was announced at UNISON’s local government committee meeting on Monday (April 10) following a consultative ballot which saw 77.6 per cent vote to reject the employers’ pay offer.

Dougie Black, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: “Local government workers have suffered years of pay restraint and their pay is worth far less now than ten years ago. The cost of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise and, as a consequence, their living standards have been severely eroded. “This cannot continue. If pay had even just risen with inflation a home care worker, for example, would be paid £19,900 a year when instead they are paid just £16,900; an early years’ worker would receive £24,100 instead of £20,400 and a library assistant would earn £26,400 instead of £22,400. And that’s just to keep up with the cost of living.

“Fair pay remains a priority for UNISON. Our members are the cogs that keep local government services turning and they deserve to be treated fairly.”