Unison Young Members Weekend 2015


In Scotland nearly 3000 NEW young members have joined our branches in 2014 – that’s 500 more than 2013 and 1200 more than 2012!


The total youth membership in Scotland is now 6487.


We would like as many Young Members as possible to attend the upcoming Weekend (for the itinerary click here).  If you have in interest in learning what it’s all about or if you’d like to become more involved in the union please come along.  You don’t need to be a Young Members Officer; you just have to be aged under 26.  If this is of interest to you please contact the Young Member Officer or fill in this application




14 October 2014 - Update on Stike Action 21 October 2014


Suspension of Industrial Action 21 October 2014

Following a meeting of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee today, the committee has taken the decision to suspend strike action planned for 21 October and consult our members on new proposals put forward by the Scottish Employers (CoSLA).

The proposals concentrate on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.

The view of the Scottish Local Government Committee is that these proposals represent a significant change to the current award. In line with our agreed procedures UNISON is consulting members on the revised pay offer from the employers and a full consultative ballot will now take place.

The ballot will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.

Can all members please complete and return their ballot forms. 


06 April 201444

Some information below on the new LGPS in England and Wales and its effects on members.  Note this does not affect the Scottish LGPS, this is for information only.

LGPS New Regulations - briefing for Campaign 29

LGPS_PoP Campaign 29


For information on the latest developments on our pensions please read the Scottish Pensions Bulletin no.40 November 2013.pdf

If you'd like to read May 2013 "Pensions in Partnership" please click Pensions In Partnership.pdf

If you would like more information on the LGPS as it stands over the UK at the moment please click here.


27 January 2014


Care workers in Glasgow City Council’s residential homes are embarking on two further days of strike action from today (Monday).


This is the second strike action taken by the city’s care workers in response to the council’s decision to enforce new job roles, longer shift patterns and pay cuts of up to seven per cent.


UNISON Scotland, the union representing care workers, said its members had no option but to take further action.


Brian Smith, UNISON City of Glasgow Branch Secretary, said:


“UNISON members have been forced to take further strike action as the Social Work Management has made no attempt to resolve the dispute.


“The fact is that care homes would not function without the hard work and dedication of our members and to force them into this difficult position is completely unfair and unnecessary.


“Our members are only asking for what is fair: no cuts in pay, properly identified roles and responsibilities of staff and agreement on any new shift arrangements.”


29 October 2013

Hundreds of Glasgow charity care workers face uncertain future

Hundreds of Glasgow’s charity care workers face having their terms and conditions savaged as a result of spending cuts by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.

 Bosses at The Mungo Foundation have threatened staff with massive cuts to their holidays and sick pay, claiming they have been backed into a corner by funding cuts.

 Staff were told today (Wednesday) they will lose eight days holiday a year, while sick pay will be cut by almost half. Staff will also see their pension contributions escalate. UNISON has condemned the move and says it is the first in a line of attacks to Glasgow’s voluntary organisations as a result of spending cuts.

Alice Lyness, a care worker and UNISON steward at The Mungo Foundation, said: “My colleagues and I work with some of the city’s most vulnerable people and we’re committed to providing the first-class service they deserve.

 “These cuts are not only having a detrimental impact on jobs and the living standards of voluntary sector staff, but on the people we care for each and every day. This race to the bottom is the wrong approach when we are delivering services to the most vulnerable in our community.”

 Deborah Dyer, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, said: “Many of these workers are low-paid and already struggling to make ends meet and are now are faced with paying the price of these damaging cuts.

 “We need voluntary organisations to act in a responsible manner, but this must start at the top and it’s time for the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to put an end to these cuts and to properly fund the care of the city’s most vulnerable people.”


Tuesday 10 September 20133

 IT workers at Stirling Council to strike next week in ongoing dispute

 UNISON local government workers in Stirling will start selective strike action on Monday (16 Sept) as part of the branch’s ongoing industrial action against draconian cuts to pay and conditions.

UNISON has given notice to Stirling Council of selective action involving a group of IT workers. This will start on Monday for one week.

This is the first phase of selective action that follows the one day all out strike action on Monday 26 August.

Lorraine Thomson, Branch Secretary, said: “Members are protesting against the imposition of changes to pay and terms and conditions which the council says they must make.

“However, the council has plans to increase its reserves at the same time as cutting our members’ terms and conditions by 4.5%. Some of our members could lose more than £130 per month. The council can afford to withdraw these draconian cuts.”

UNISON carried out a survey of members and 98% said they were bullied and intimidated by a letter sent by Stirling Council asking them to sign new contracts.

Lorraine added: “Following legal advice, we advised our members to sign, stating they were doing so under protest/duress to protect their jobs.

“Our commitment to our members in facing this imposition is absolute and we are proceeding with further industrial action as mandated by the members.”


Thursday 22 August 2013


Strike over ‘savage cuts’ by Stirling Council


Local government workers in Stirling will begin strike action on Monday (26 August) against ‘savage cuts’ being imposed by their employer.


UNISON Stirling Council branch believes that the package of cuts proposed by the council will damage the vital services which local people rely on - and further reduce wages which have already been devalued by 13% over the last three years as a result of a pay freeze.


Members of UNISON and other unions have voted to take industrial action beginning with a one day strike on Monday 26 August.


Branch secretary James Douglas said:

“We have been left with no option but to proceed with a strike due to the savage cuts proposed by our employer.


“The council’s offer is insulting - the combination of a 1.5% pay cut and the requirement to work an extra 7.5 days a year, actually amounts to a 4.5% pay cut for the majority. This comes on top of a three year pay freeze which has meant a real terms pay cut of about 13%. And the proposal to move to a 37 hour week also means a reduction in hourly rate of pay for all including the lowest paid.


“These proposals are by far the worst faced by any council in Scotland. But it was not local government workers or the people who rely on our services who caused the economic crisis - and we should not be forced to pay for it. We certainly do not appear to be ‘all in this together’.”


James Douglas said:

“We regret any disruption or inconvenience this strike may cause, but we feel we have no alternative than to take industrial action to protect our pay and conditions of service with Stirling Council. Unions did not walk away from the negotiating table – the employer did.


“We hope that a one day strike will send a clear message to both Stirling Council and its management team that enough is enough. We believe that this will force the council to think again. The changes to terms and conditions affect all of us, therefore we need to stand together and be prepared to fight for our rights.”


UNISON Stirling branch has also called on the Chief Executive and the leader of Stirling Council to withdraw letters of dismissal which have been issued, following a large number of complaints from members.


James Douglas said:

 “Staff have said that they feel intimidated and bullied into signing new contracts, as they believe that the letter implies that they will lose their jobs if they don’t sign. We have referred the issue of letters of dismissal to our legal team for their view of the letter and any action that can be taken. I have asked that the letter be withdrawn and that a new letter giving the full legal position be sent out to all staff.”



UNISON Scotland statement on local government pay ballot


Local government members in Scottish public services union UNISON have decided not to move forward to three days of industrial action over a proposed pay raise of 1% for the current year, which they rejected overwhelmingly earlier in the summer.


The pay ballot closed on 13 August and resulted in a very narrow rejection of moving towards a programme of industrial action in support of an improved offer. 49.78% voted in favour of industrial action and 50.22% voted against.


The union's local government committee met today to consider the result of the industrial action ballot.


A UNISON spokesperson said:
"Whilst the result of this ballot means that members have voted to reject industrial action over the current one year deal, there was a substantial vote for a strike. Our members in local government voted by 3:2 to reject the miserly 1% pay offer which is effectively a further pay cut.


"The industrial action ballot which closed yesterday provides no mandate for a strike and members have reluctantly accepted the 1% rise for the current year.


"Our local government members fear for the security of their jobs and the pressure on the vital services we provide to our communities.

"We have faced the loss of upwards of 35,000 jobs local government over the last three years."


"That's the climate in which our people have to operate under the current Tory austerity policies.


"In the last week we have heard that the bulk of cuts to public services are still coming down the line. This is something we already knew. UNISON will now move forward to real push on pay in the coming year. Our members do vital work and provide important services for our communities. They are worth more than a series of effective pay cuts."


On Thursday 27 June 2013, the Argyll and Bute Branch Executive and a number of active stewards staged a wee rally outside of Kilmory Castle to raise awareness of the Fair Pay campaign.  We managed to get a number of signatures for our petition, we even managed a few Councillors.  It was a fairly damp and midgie day but worthwhilel nonetheless, a few photos included below :


Wednesday 1 May 20133

 Council tax freeze is costing public services dear - UNISON

Hard-pressed Scots are facing massive increases in charges for vital local services to pay for the Scottish government’s Council Tax freeze, public sector union UNISON has revealed.


The union has called for a new debate over the Council Tax freeze - which mainly benefits those living in better off neighbourhoods.


Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said:

“It is clear the Council Tax freeze is costing public services - and those who rely on them most – very dearly indeed.


“We asked all the Scottish councils, using a Freedom of Information request, how their charges have changed since the Council Tax was ‘frozen’ in 2007. The responses reveal that people on modest incomes are having to pay far more for costs like their rent, school meals for their kids, and charges for care in daycentres for their vulnerable relatives – and still services are being cut back.


“Meanwhile those in the leafier suburbs benefit most from the unfair Council Tax freeze. It is not socially just or fair.”


Dave Watson said:

“It is time for the debate on the Council Tax freeze to change. Discussions around the Council Tax usually use the Band D charge for comparison but the average bill rate gives a better idea of what people are actually paying. The average council tax bill in Scotland is £985 while the average band D charge is £1149.


“The freeze disproportionally benefits the wealthy; while charges are being increased and services cut. Band H households are “saving” on average £441 per year while those in the cheapest homes (Band A) “save” £147 a year.


“UNISON’s FOI request shows increased charging far outweighs the claimed savings. Rents in some areas are going up by over £900 per year. It’s much fairer for everyone to pay a small amount extra in tax than have big increases in charges that bear no relation to ability to pay for services.”



Monday 22 April 2013


UNISON joins community activists to lobby council against closing Struan Lodge


UNISON will join with community activists from Dunoon on Thursday in the fight to keep Struan Lodge open and stop vulnerable residents being turfed out of their home.


Campaigners will lobby a meeting of the full Argyll & Bute Council on Thursday April 25 at Council Head Offices in Kilmory, Lochgilphead.


Between 250 and 300 members attended a packed meeting at the Queens Hall in Dunoon on 15th March to discuss the proposed closure of Struan Lodge a well loved and highly regarded care home for the elderly run by Argyll & Bute Council.


UNISON, the largest local government union, has been working with staff, residents, families and concerned residents of Dunoon and surrounding areas to oppose the cuts. Following the meeting Councillor Breslin and Councillor Blair have put forward a motion to the Council calling on a rethink.


UNISON and local campaigners will be lobbying councillors on their way in to Thursday’s meeting to press home the strength of feeling.


Marion Power local UNISON Branch Secretary said “The fact that a sizeable number of people are planning to travel from Dunoon to Lochgilphead to protest outside a Council meeting on a weekday morning shows how strongly people feel about this proposed closure.  


 “UNISON represents staff in the home and we are delighted to be uniting with the community to call on councillors to think again.


“The most vulnerable in our society like the residents of Struan Lodge are being asked to pay the ultimate price of being turfed out of their home due to the austerity brought about by bailing out the banks.


 “We need a rethink and in Argyll and Bute this should start with councillors deciding to save Struan Lodge.”

12 February 2013  

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Unions challenge Argyll and Bute council to defend services and jobs   Magnificent effort by public service workers in snow-hit Argyll and Bute, Arran and Dumfries & Galloway

The joint staff trade unions in Argyll and Bute today (Tues 12 Feb) united to call on councillors to defend services and jobs and oppose two key closures.

The unions made four demands to Argyll and Bute Council, which will set a budget on Thursday (14 Feb):

  • No compulsory redundancies;

  • No compulsory reductions in hours for any staff;

  • No to the closure of Struan Lodge care home and to putting the service at Kintyre Network Centre out to tender, and;

  • Improved redundancy terms to encourage people to volunteer for redundancy and avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.

UNISON, EIS, Unite and GMB have met with the SNP administration twice in recent weeks to discuss the budget, most recently on Friday (8 Feb). The unions acknowledged the financial challenges facing the council, but pointed out these are the consequences of the failed austerity policy of the UK government, which in turn has been fed through by the Scottish Government.

The unions believe that the political leadership of the council should be up front with the people of Argyll & Bute by indicating the real shortfalls between what the budget they will set delivers and what the real local needs are.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON Regional Organiser, said: "In all our discussions with the council leadership we acknowledged the difficult situation they face, while calling on them to show true leadership.

“We believe that by committing to our four points, the Council could secure the trust and confidence of their staff, their families and the wider population of Argyll & Bute.

“As the biggest employer in the area they need to take fear away from workers by committing to not make people compulsorily redundant or cut their hours. Nor should they close or externalise vital council services such as Struan Lodge or the Kintyre Network Centre.”

For further information please contact Marion Power, Branch Secretary, 07717 686 441



UNISON today praised the work of public service staff clearing roads, working to restore power and supporting snowed-in communities hit by Friday’s storm.

As engineers fight to restore power to areas affected by the snow, the public service union said all those public service and utilities workers involved had made a magnificent effort in appalling conditions.

Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said: “Communities in several parts of Scotland have been hit in different ways by the storm. Across the country those affected are grateful for the hard work and commitment of public service and utility workers who pull out all the stops to support the most vulnerable. Our emergency services, health and council workers, along with energy and roads staff are all doing a fantastic job.”

Marion Power, UNISON branch secretary in Argyll and Bute, paid tribute to workers in Kintyre clearing snow, restoring power and offering practical support and advice.

She said: “Council workers, health staff and the emergency services pull together at times like this to ensure vulnerable people are supported and services restored as soon as possible. We know people have been working round the clock, some with little or no sleep for days at a time.

“Everyone has faced incredibly difficult conditions but there has been such a  team effort, including roads and utilities workers, and people affected helping their neighbours and anyone they see needing help.

“Our members have had to endure several years of pay freeze and real terms pay cuts, but they deliver such an essential service, highlighted in times of crisis.”

Stephanie Herd, UNISON branch secretary in North Ayrshire, added her support, as council and other staff face unprecedented conditions on Arran. She said: “Conditions have been atrocious but, as ever, the dedication of teams from all the services is clear.”



UNISON here to help with Payroll Changes


No on likes change and few things can be more unsettling than changes to your pay date, however UNISON has agreed to this change as the Council have put in place a number of measures that give us confidence that disruption to staff can be minimised and the consequential savings will help save jobs. The change in payroll date may encourage or require you to have a detailed look at your finances and UNISON can assist with this. UNISON is not just about getting you the best deal at work and supporting you with any issues in the workplace, we have a range of services and benefits to help members and their families at times such as these.


Here’s some ways we can help that you might not be aware of:


·         UNISON Debtline can assist with debt problems, see http://www.unison.org.uk/welfare/services_debtline.asp or call 0800 389 330;

·         UNISON Welfare – There for You – UNISON’s own charity for members. We can help with financial assistance and wellbeing breaks, see http://www.unison.org.uk/welfare/services.asp for more info;

·         Independent Financial Advice via http://www.lighthousefa.co.uk/affinity_groups/unison.aspx;

·         Free legal advice, see: http://www.unison.org.uk/benefits/legal.asp ;

·         UNISON can also save you money via a whole host of services and benefits including via our own insurance company UIA which is owned and run by members, for full details of all the services see: http://www.unison.org.uk/benefits/special.asp .


Some other useful links:


·         Money Advice Service, set up by the government: https://healthcheck.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/?utm_source=UNISExt&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=NP-JOS ;

·         Remember pay day loans are a rip off. Argyll & Bute workers have access to safe, secure and ethical savings and loans via the Scotwest Credit Union http://www.scotwest.co.uk/



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