For the attention of all Argyll and Bute Council employed members
Please look out for the letter and ballot paper on the Consolidation of the Living Wage and Changes to Local Government Employees Local Terms and Conditions which you should receive both by post and e-mail this week.
The Scottish Joint Council for Local Government Employees pay settlement for 2018-21 contained a commitment by employers to consolidate the Scottish Local Government Living Wage by 1st April 2021. Currently for those Argyll and Bute Council employed staff, on the salary scale at a point below the Living Wage this is implemented via a top up. UNISON has campaigned for the Living Wage to be the lowest point of salary scales, so this agreement was a real step forward for low paid workers.
The Council has wanted to revise local terms and conditions for Local Government Employees (LGE), during the years of needless austerity which has seen local government singled out for cuts and we have resisted such moves. When the Council again indicated that they wanted to revisit LGE local terms and conditions, on balance we agreed to enter these negotiations alongside discussion on the consolidation of the Living Wage. We did so as we believed this would provide the best opportunity to protect Terms & Conditions, that might otherwise be reduced, make some important improvements and hopefully secure a set of Terms & Conditions that would be secure in the medium term.
In terms of the consolidation of the Living Wage, we have secured an approach which doesn’t disadvantage anyone and delivers significant investment in the pay and grading structure which benefits our members. This has been subject to checking via an Equality and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment and an Independent Equalities Review by a well-respected Independent Technical Adviser.
In order to implement these changes UNISON proposes to enter into a collective agreement on your behalf with Argyll and Bute Council, and to do so we are balloting you.
In the document below, you will find the key elements of the proposals:
The Living Wage element would be introduced from 1st April 2021 and the new Terms & Conditions from 1st July 2021.
There are important benefits within the new Terms & Conditions, such as an increased range of Special Leave provisions and an increase in the spinal column points that can access overtime payments.
We recognise there are detriments for some members such as those who get the Essential Car Users Allowance.
We have been central to negotiations by seeing off a number of initial proposals from the Council and believe that on balance these proposals represent the best that can be achieved by negotiation and therefore recommend that members vote to Accept!
We encourage all members to respond to the ballot and to please get in touch if you need any more information.