GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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Overview: Exposing Scotland's Austerity Shame

Overview: Exposing Scotland's Austerity Shame

Dear GMB member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – COSLA Pay Update!

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.

That’s why, following the overwhelming 92% rejection of the unfair COSLA pay offer, your GMB reps have been meeting to discuss the next steps in our campaign to deliver a fair deal for local government pay.

Our message has been clear and consistent: We cannot allow those earning over £80,000 a year to get as much as eight times more than what the majority of our members can expect from a 3% rise – that’s unfair and unequal.

There shouldn’t be a politician in the country that believes the COSLA offer is fair or credibly tackles a decade of cuts to your pay and conditions but regrettably there are, including Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP who believes the offer treats staff with “equal value”.

It’s a position that Derek Mackay maintained at the most recent Holyrood meeting between the local government joint trade unions and the Scottish Government, where he also said that he is not willing to put any more money into local government.

So it’s very clear to GMB that if we want to put more pounds into the pockets of the lowest paid across COSLA then we are going to have to step-up our campaigning agenda, which is what your reps have resolved to do.

We are not a trade union to sit and wait for change. It’s time to hit the pressure points of our employers and politicians. And yes, we will now explore the potential for a programme of targeted industrial actions across key sectors and councils within COSLA.

Very shortly, we will bring forward a plan of action for each local authority where we will campaign to raise awareness of this unfair and unequal pay offer and to hold the decision makers to account.

We will be in regular communication so if you want to receive our campaign updates for events in your local authority, then please make sure your contact details (especially mobiles) are to up to date.

If you know someone who isn’t a GMB member but wants to be part of GMB Scotland’s campaign to deliver a fair deal for local government pay, introduce them to your local rep or they join online today at www.gmb.org.uk/join

GMB believes that you deserve better. If you agree then get involved in our campaign. Email me at scotlocalgov@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in East Dunbartonshire Council – URGENT! Strike action suspended as council begin cuts climb-down

Following a meeting at the request of the council this afternoon (Wednesday 11 July), I can confirm that East Dunbartonshire Council have agreed to fully reverse their cuts to:

  • Overtime allowance;
  • Holiday entitlement; and
  • Changes to the notional working day.

As a result of this, GMB has agreed to lift our strike action in refuse and recycling which was due to run from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 July.  

This strike is now suspended. Staff in waste and recycling at Hilton and Mavis Valley should report to work as normal.

The council has also agreed to enter into negotiations over their cuts to redundancy entitlement. GMB has set a deadline of Monday July 23 for the satisfactory conclusion to this, during which our mandate for industrial action is protected.  

The overtime ban across all services remains in place.

Make no mistake that today’s developments are a massive step forward in our campaign to defend your terms and conditions.  

We still have some road to travel on the issue of redundancy entitlement but the ball is now firmly in the court of the council to resolve this. We will hold them to account.

GMB Scotland has led this campaign from the front. Through your magnificent solidarity you have stared down this council and their shameful attack on your terms and conditions.  

We will be in touch with further updates as they happen but I wanted you to know of this development as quickly as possible.

Hazel Nolan 

GMBScotland Organiser

Dear GMB member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – Scottish Government talks over COSLA pay update

GMB members rejected COSLA’s pay offer by a resounding 92%.

You did this on the basis that we cannot allow those earning over £80,000 a year to get as much as eight times more than what the majority of our members can expect from a 3% rise – that’s unfair and unequal.

That’s the message personally delivered by your fellow member, Shona Thompson, a Home Carer in Cordia Services Glasgow, to the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay on Tuesday 26 June, during talks at the Scottish Parliament.

Our priority is the defence of your interests and we take a no-nonsense approach to politics. That’s why it’s important for our members like Shona, to be able to look our political leaders in the eye and tell them that you deserve better.

It is regrettable that once again the Finance Secretary told us that the current offer is “fair and equal” in its treatment of local government staff, and that there is no more money left to give to COSLA from the Scottish Government.

GMB profoundly disagrees with the Derek Mackay. More must be done for the lowest paid in after ten years of cuts and pay freezes. That’s why we recommended that he could release some of the £119 million that has been placed in reserves after last year’s budget underspend.

Derek did say however, that he would be happy to attend the next round of talks between the local government trade unions and COSLA. We hope that is the least of his actions in the coming weeks regarding your pay.

So GMB is clear that COSLA and the Scottish Government need to return to negotiations with the joint trade unions as soon as possible. They can and must do more to put more pounds in your pocket.

Your GMB reps will meet this Friday 6 July to finalise our next steps and we will communicate the developments of this meeting as soon as it is practically possible but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at drew.duffy@gmb.org.uk

Do you know someone that wants to fight for better pay but isn’t yet a trade union member? If so, they can us today at www.gmb.org.uk/join

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB member,

GMB Scotland in Edinburgh City Council - COSLA Pay Ballot Result

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.

That's why we urged you to reject the unfair COSLA pay offer, sending a message to the employer and the Scottish Government that they must do more for our lowest paid council staff.

Your response couldn't have been clearer: GMB Edinburgh members played a big part in a resounding 92% rejection of the COSLA pay offer. You can read more about our ballot result here.

Myself and my colleague David met many of you in the different workplaces that we could visit around Edinburgh to conduct the ballot. It was great to meet so many of you in person and hear the reasons why you wanted to reject this year's pay offer.

GMB Scotland will keep you updated and make sure your voice is heard on your pay.

Many of you have already told us that you want to take an active role in your workplace for GMB. If you want to help GMB stand up for your colleagues in your workplace become active within GMB by emailing keir.greenaway@gmb.org.uk

If your colleagues are not yet a member of Scotland's campaigning trade union, let them know they can join here - www.gmb.org.uk/join

If you have any issues or concerns in your workplace, remember to get in touch with GMB. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at: keir.greenaway@gmb.org.uk / 0131 322 9270 

Keir Greenway
GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Aberdeen City Council – PSA ‘Abuse at Work’ Campaign Update!

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.

Our recent abuse at work survey exposed the shocking truth about your working lives, revealing:

· Over 90 per cent of PSAs have suffered verbal or physical abuse at work.

· Nearly a quarter of PSAs do not know how to report this abuse.

· Over 70 per cent of PSAs have not been trained on how to report abuse.

· Nearly three quarters of PSAs who have reported abuse received no feedback.

As a result of our campaign, we have met with ACC’s Chief Executive and we have a further meeting scheduled for Friday 29 June with the council’s health and safety team over your welfare at work.

The challenges we have laid down to ACC are clear:

· Our schools must be safe places for the staff who work there - violence and aggression at work can never be accepted as normal.
· There needs to be a far greater respect and recognition for the massive contribution support staff make to our kids’ education and wellbeing.
· Aberdeen City Council must work with GMB Scotland to bring forward new policies for safety at work to urgently tackle this growing crisis.

While discussions with ACC so far have been positive, let’s also be clear that actions speak louder than words and we will measure ACC on their willingness to meet these challenges.

We will keep you fully informed of developments as they happen but if you have any questions or want to find out more about our campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on 01224 582367 or email Melanie.Greenhalgh@gmb.org.uk


Melanie Greenhalgh

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

COSLA Pay Consultative Ballot Result – 92 per cent rejection of COSLA Offer

The priority of GMB Scotland is defence of our members’ interests.

That’s why we have surveyed, engaged and consulted with you extensively since late last year about your expectations for your pay and conditions.

This year, COSLA has tabled the following offer:

  • A 3 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning up to £36,500;
  • A 2 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning £36,501 - £80,000; and
  • A flat rate increase of £1,600 to employees earning more than £80,000.

After the close of our consultative ballot on Friday 15 June, and having counted the returns with your GMB reps yesterday (Monday 18 June), GMB members in Scottish local government and ALEO bodies have rejected the COSLA offer by 92 per cent.

GMB has written to COSLA and the Scottish Government Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, telling them to listen to your voice over this unfair and unacceptable pay offer.

The challenge to the employer-side and the Scottish Government remains clear: Do they really think that a council chief executive is worth £1,000 more than a home care worker, bin collector or school cleaner? 

Our trade union doesn’t think so but, as it stands, Derek Mackay thinks this offer gives council workers ‘equal value’. 

GMB thinks he should look at the scale of this rejection and realise that the truth on the ground is very different than his view from the privileged political bubble.

The ball is now firmly in the court of COSLA and the Scottish Government, but your local government reps will meet shortly to discuss the next steps of our campaign and be assured that your trade union is not going to wait and hope for change. We will campaign together.

Please ensure your membership contact details are up to date, particularly your mobiles, to receive all the latest updates.  If your colleagues are not yet a member of Scotland’s campaigning trade union, let them know they can join here – www.gmb.org.uk/join

Drew Duffy

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – COSLA 2018/19 Pay Ballot! 1 week to go!

Over the last few weeks, we have been balloting our members in local government, urging you to REJECT the COSLA pay offer for 2018/19.

GMB simply cannot recommend a deal that increases the pay of the highest grades by £1,600 while staff on the lowest grades get between £250 and £600.

It begs the question: Is a Chief Executive worth £1,000 more than a home care worker, bin collector or school cleaner? GMB doesn’t think so.

If you agree with us, you've only got one more week to return your ballot paper. Our ballot closes next Friday 15 June.

Many of you will have already cast your ballot in your workplace or by post. But if you haven’t yet returned your postal ballot, then now is the time.

You deserve better! Let’s campaign to bring COSLA and the Scottish Government back to the negotiating table and deliver a fairer offer for the lowest paid in local government.

If you have any questions, please contact your local GMB workplace rep or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB in Police Scotland – Sodexo Contract (Tulliallan)

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.

That’s why over the last year we have been campaigning hard to ensure that our members delivering housekeeping services at Police Scotland’s Tulliallan Headquarters received a proper living wage for their work and skills.

In April, the changeover of the soft services contract at Tulliallan from Mitie to Sodexo resulted in the delivery of that living wage, in line with the Scottish Government’s fair work agenda for public services, providing a basic £8.75 an hour for our members.

Regrettably it has now come to light that the price hard-working staff will pay for that uplift is a change in shift patterns to 5 over 7 and a cut of 187.5 hours a week to cleaning and housekeeping services (hours which currently equal approximately six jobs).

GMB is clear: This is an unacceptable imposition to your livelihoods; it’s giving with one hand and taking away with the other and both Police Scotland and Sodexo are to blame. We will campaign to stop these cuts.

Over the last few years, Police Scotland have blown hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to feather the nests of its most senior staff – but they can’t even ensure that the staff keeping their HQ clean and orderly have fair terms and conditions.

That’s why we will soon launch a consultative ballot for industrial action against these cuts, which GMB were not consulted over by your employer.

If Police Scotland cannot get together with Sodexo to stop these cuts, not only will they face embarrassing strikes at Tulliallan but they can make their own beds and lie in them while it happens!

In the meantime, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at Christina.Lambie@gmb.org.uk or call our Falkirk Office on 01324 670676 (during office hours).

Christina Lambie
GMB Scotland Organiser 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government - COSLA Pay Deal 2018/19 Derek Mackay Meeting Update

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.

That’s why yesterday (Thursday 10 May), along with me, your fellow GMB member Dinah Turnbull, a cleaning supervisor in Falkirk Council, took our COSLA pay campaign for to the Scottish Government and Derek Mackay.

GMB cannot support a deal that increases the pay of the highest grades by £1,600 a year while staff on the lowest grades get between £250 and £600. It is unfair and unacceptable - that why we are urging you to reject the COSLA offer.

Yesterday, Dinah pressed Mr Mackay on the pay offer: “Did he think that she was worth eight times less than her boss?” Mr Mackay’s response was that the lowest paid and the highest paid in local government are “equally valued”.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Mr Mackay thinks that some local government workers are more equal than others.

That’s why we need to send a clear message to COSLA and the Scottish Government that they must do more for the lowest paid in local government. You can do this by strongly rejecting the COSLA offer in our live consultative ballot.

After ten years of cuts to pay, conditions and services, you deserve better.

Our consultative ballot runs until Friday 15 June. GMB organisers and reps are conducting workplace ballots. Postal ballots for members in remote areas will be sent over the next week.

In the meantime, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us at gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk or contact your local office - www.gmbscotland.org.uk/contact

If you are not a member and want to be part of Scotland’s campaigning trade union in local government, you can join online - www.gmb.org.uk/join


Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

P.S. Remember! GMB is urging you to reject the COSLA offer - it is unfair and unacceptable. 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – GMB recommends members REJECT the COSLA Pay Offer! Consultative ballot starts Monday 7 May.

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests. That’s why GMB is urging you to REJECT the COSLA pay offer for 2018/19.

The current offer on the table proposes the following:

  • A 3 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning up to £36,500.
  • A 2 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning £36,501- £80,000.
  • A flat rate increase of £1,600 to employees earning more than £80,000.

After a decade of cuts to your pay, conditions and services, a 3 per cent increase might seem like a good offer. But the devil is in the detail!

GMB simply cannot recommend a deal that increases the pay of the highest grades by £1,600 while staff on the lowest grades get between £250 and £600.

It begs the question: Is a Chief Executive worth £1,000 more than a home care worker, bin collector or school cleaner? GMB doesn’t think so.

Left unchallenged, this would increase the pay gap between the lowest and highest earners in local government, with obvious consequences for pay inequality too.

In our recent survey you told us that your living standards are worse now than five years ago, that you are working longer hours with less resource and for less money in real terms.

As it stands, COSLA’s pay offer is unfair and unacceptable. That’s why GMB strongly recommends that you REJECT this offer in our consultative ballot.

The consultative ballot starts on Monday 7 May and will run until Friday 15 June. This will be conducted in your workplace but certain members in remote locations will receive papers by post.

You will be asked: "Do you accept or reject the COSLA offer of 3 per cent for the lowest paid and £1,600 for the highest paid?" GMB strongly recommends you cross the box which says ‘REJECT’.

You deserve better! Let’s campaign to bring COSLA and the Scottish Government back to the negotiating table and deliver a fairer offer for the lowest paid in local government.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Perth & Kinross Council – Beechgrove House Closure

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of our members’ interests.

That’s why after last week’s 100 per cent vote to take action to save Beechgrove from closure we must now ramp up the pressure with NHS, PKC and the Scottish Government to ensure Perth has at least one publicly owned care home.

This week, we have written to PKC Leader Murray Lyle to let him know of our consultative ballot result, that you are willing to do everything possible to save Beechgrove and to work with us for an intervention to reverse the IJB’s imposition. see attached: http://www.gmbscotland.org.uk/assets/media/letter-MLyle-%20VLeonard-BeechgroveHome200418.pdf

We now need to get all the staff involved in this campaign to send the council and the Scottish Government a clear message that Beechgrove must stay open and remain in public hands.

Please speak to your colleagues that are non GMB members and ask them to join because when we start the legal process to take action it will only be GMB members that have the legal protection to do so.

Joining is easy and colleagues can do so via www.gmb.org.uk/join

Your local GMB will be onsite shortly but in the meantime, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me at vicki.leonard@gmb.org.uk or call our Dundee Office on 01382 225491.

Vicki Leonard
GMB Organiser

 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – GMB recommends members REJECT the COSLA Pay Offer

You will have received my update at the end of March about the current pay offer from COSLA which proposed the following:

· A 3% pay increase will apply to all employees earning up to £36,500;
· A 2% pay increase will apply to all employees earning £36,501- £80,000; and
· A flat rate increase of £1,600 to employees earning more than £80,000.

Your GMB local government reps met today (Thursday 12 April) to discuss the above offer and have determined that in the forthcoming consultative ballot we will recommend our members REJECT this offer, as it stands.

We cannot recommend support for a pay offer that has not been negotiated in any way with the trade unions and would result in a part-time cleaner receiving about £250 over the year, a home carer receiving £528 compared to a chief executive receiving £1600.

Left unchallenged, this offer would increase the gap between the lowest paid and the highest paid in local government with obvious consequences for the gender pay gap too. It is unacceptable.

In our recent survey you told us that your living standards are worse now than five years ago, that you are working longer hours, with fewer resources and for less money in real terms.

That’s why GMB pushed for significant uprates of pay in the COSLA pay claim, which proposed a £1500 increase across the board or 6.5% (whatever is higher) and after a decade of austerity on your pay, jobs and services, the COSLA offer is well wide of the mark.

GMB will now finalise preparations for a full consultative ballot of our local government membership, which will take place throughout May and June. Wherever possible, we will conduct workplace ballots.

However, if we can't get to your workplace we will send you a postal ballot. So make sure to update your contact details via www.gmb.org.uk or alternatively you can email me at drew.duffy@gmb.org.uk

Remember! Only local government workers who are trade union members will be able to influence and vote on their pay, so there has never been a better time to tell your non-union colleagues to join GMB - www.gmb.org.uk/join/join-online

The priority of GMB Scotland is defence of our members’ interests. After a decade of cuts to your pay, jobs and services GMB says, ‘Enough is enough – it’s time to end the austerity shame in Scottish local government.’

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member,

GMB Scotland in Local Government: Important COSLA 2018/19 Pay Offer Update

Your GMB Scotland representatives met with COSLA today to discuss your pay for 2018/2019.

We have made it clear throughout this process that you expect a decent pay rise and COSLA have come back with the following offer:

  • A 3% pay increase will apply to all employees earning up to £36,500.
  • A 2% pay increase will apply to all employees earning £36,501-£80,000
  • A flat rate increase of £1,600 to employees earning more than £80,000.

We have stated that we expected more and that this is a move away from ensuring the living wage employees get the biggest increase to lift more members out of a poverty wage.

This is an example of what the offer would look like to members:

Despite COSLA stating that this is their final offer, GMB Scotland continued to argue for a better deal for you and for an increase of the amount paid to the lowest earners. As it stands COSLA’s offer would mean that a chief executive is getting £1600 and the cleaner of his/her office could get £500 at best.

We have been advised by COSLA that they are keen to work with us to look at how they can provide free sanitary products for female staff and this is a positive step that responds to issues that members have told us about in the workplace.

GMB Reps will meet on Thursday 12 April to decide if our union should recommend accepting or rejecting this deal. We will then proceed to a consultative ballot.

Ahead of this meeting, please do not hesitate to contact me at GMBScotCampaigns@GMB.org.uk, or speak to your GMB Rep, if you have any questions.

Drew Duffy 
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Cordia - Important 2018/19 Pay Update!

Glasgow City Council and Cordia’s leadership have now confirmed that Cordia will be included in this year’s COSLA pay negotiations. COSLA is the body that represents Councils across Scotland. In previous years, because of Cordia's ALEO status, Cordia has had separate pay negotiations and pay offers. This year, Cordia members will be included in GMB Scotland's national pay campaign as pay talks start this week.

Below is an update for all GMB members of our position ahead of these talks.

Our Claim

Following our survey, you were clear that you need more money in your pocket. Many members told us they are working extra hours to make ends meet and to feed their families. Cuts to staff levels in your services mean you are often doing the work of two or three people. You are working longer and harder against the rising cost of living and this cannot continue unchallenged.

Enough is enough - you need to be recognised and rewarded for the work you do and that means negotiating the best deal for GMB members. That’s why we are calling on COSLA to deliver:

• A basic pay increase of at least £1500 or 6.5% (whatever is higher);
• A rise in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage to £9.53 an hour (12% increase);
• Review of the craft agreement to ensure it is fit for the future;
• An ongoing commitment to equality proofing all pay deals and working practices; and
• Free sanitary products available in every female bathroom in every council building.

You’ve made it clear that pay is your priority and this claim would make a significant difference to the livelihoods of our members, particularly the lowest-paid in our councils, after a decade of brutal austerity cuts.

Equality must also be at the core of everything we do as a trade union. As a union and a movement, another generation of equal pay injustice doesn’t bear thinking about. That’s why a commitment to equal pay, conditions and practices are at the heart of this claim.

And you’ll also see that GMB had called on COSLA to ensure all female employees have access to free sanitary products. Period poverty is a growing concern for many members and it has to be tackled. It’s an unarguable issue of dignity at work and basic social justice.

Our priority is the defence of your interests - pay, equality and dignity. That’s what GMB is campaigning for in local government.

Get involved!

Pay talks are scheduled to begin this Wednesday 28 March. We cannot put a timescale on these negotiations but please be assured that you will vote on the final offer through a consultative ballot.

Last year, GMB led the way for the first decent pay increase for the lowest paid in local government in a decade. This year, we are campaigning for more progress and to tackle Scotland’s austerity shame once and for all.

That’s why it’s never been more important to be a GMB member and to get involved in Scotland’s campaigning trade union. Please make sure your contact details are fully to up to date with your local GMB reps (particularly mobiles and emails) as we will be in constant communication!

And if your colleagues haven’t yet joined a trade union, then they can sign-up today online at: www.gmb.org.uk/join

In the meantime if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email rhea.wolfson@gmb.org.uk

Rhea Wolfson
GMB Scotland Organiser

P.S. Remember! Our priority is the defence of your interests - pay, equality and dignity. That’s what GMB is campaigning for across local government.

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government - Important 2018/19 COSLA Pay Update!

COSLA leaders meet today (Friday 23 March) to look at how they will respond to the local government joint trade unions’ pay claim for 2018/19.

As COSLA reach their own determinations, here’s a summary of GMB Scotland’s position ahead of negotiations:
Our Claim

Following our survey, you were clear that you need more money in your pocket. Many members told us they are working extra hours to make ends meet and to feed their families. Cuts to staff levels in your services mean you are often doing the work of two or three people. You are working longer and harder against the rising cost of living and this cannot continue unchallenged.

Enough is enough - you need to be recognised and rewarded for the work you do and that means negotiating the best deal for GMB members. That’s why we are calling on COSLA to deliver:

• A basic pay increase of at least £1500 or 6.5% (whatever is higher);
• A rise in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage to £9.53 an hour (12% increase);
• Review of the craft agreement to ensure it is fit for the future;
• An ongoing commitment to equality proofing all pay deals and working practices; and
• Free sanitary products available in every female bathroom in every council building.

You’ve made it clear that pay is your priority and this claim would make a significant difference to the livelihoods of our members, particularly the lowest-paid in our councils, after a decade of brutal austerity cuts.

Equality must also be at the core of everything we do as a trade union. As a union and a movement, another generation of equal pay injustice doesn’t bear thinking about. That’s why a commitment to equal pay, conditions and practices are at the heart of this claim.

And you’ll also see that GMB had called on COSLA to ensure all female employees have access to free sanitary products. Period poverty is a growing concern for many members and it has to be tackled. It’s an unarguable issue of dignity at work and basic social justice.

Our priority is the defence of your interests - pay, equality and dignity. That’s what GMB is campaigning for in local government.

Get involved!

Pay talks are scheduled to begin this Wednesday 28 March. We cannot put a timescale on these negotiations but please be assured that you will vote on the final offer through a consultative ballot.

Last year, GMB led the way for the first decent pay increase for the lowest paid in local government in a decade. This year, we are campaigning for more progress and to tackle Scotland’s austerity shame once and for all.

That’s why its never been more important to be a GMB member and to get involved in Scotland’s campaigning trade union. Please make sure your contact details are fully to up to date with your local GMB reps (particularly mobiles and emails) as we will be in constant communication!

And if your colleagues haven’t yet joined a trade union, then they can sign-up today online at: www.gmb.org.uk/join
In the meantime if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me at gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser


P.S. Remember! Our priority is the defence of your interests - pay, equality and dignity. That’s what GMB is campaigning for in local government.

Dear GMB Member

Important GMB Update! Clacks Council Budget Demo – Thu 8 March

Tomorrow Clackmannanshire Council will set its budget for 2018/19. Councillors will decide whether to rip up your existing contracts of employment and impose cuts to your terms and conditions.

This cuts plan by the council’s minority administration would mean the removal of your unsociable working hours payments and your overtime rates of pay – a pay cut for GMB members delivering local services like social care and school support.

This is just the first step in an estimated £29 million worth of budget cuts between now and 2020. Left unchallenged this will mean already hard-pressed members working longer and harder for less.

Our priority is the defence of your interests and the cuts on the table are simply not acceptable. That’s why we are urging members that can to join us on Thursday at the Clacks Council Joint Trade Union Anti-Cuts Demo:

Where: Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB

When: 08.30 -10.30

Join us and let’s send the strongest possible message to the ruling administration and councillors of all political parties that this cuts plan is unacceptable and if it is supported, they will stand in direct confrontation with GMB Scotland.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate contact me at our Falkirk Office on 01324 670676 or email christina.lambie@gmb.org.uk

Christina Lambie

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Cordia – The Future of Home Care

Glasgow City Council’s budget announcement that home care services will be returned to full council control is a welcome development.  It’s something GMB has long campaigned for.

This presents a huge opportunity to review long-standing issues that go beyond pay disparity. However, the break-up of Cordia’s services is not a quick-fix to the challenges facing us and it does come with a deal of uncertainty.

Now, more than ever, it is so important that we are on the front foot and campaigning for a service that recognises and rewards you for the professionals you are, while delivering the best standards for the service user too.

That’s why on International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March, GMB will launch our campaign for a full review into working patterns for home carers in Glasgow. Watch out for updates via SMS and email!

The return of home care services to council control is not the end of our fight; it’s just the beginning.  

The priority of GMB is the defence of your interests. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email rhea.wolfson@gmb.org.uk

Rhea Wolfson

GMB Scotland Organiser

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Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Cordia – The Future of Facilities Services

Glasgow City Council’s budget announcement that Cordia’s services will be returned to full council control is a welcome development.  It’s something GMB has long campaigned for.

This is a huge opportunity to review long-standing issues that go beyond pay disparity. However, the break-up of Cordia’s services is not a quick-fix to the challenges facing us and it does come with a deal of uncertainty.

Now, more than ever, it is so important that we are on the front foot and campaigning for future of your livelihoods.

After ten years of austerity cuts, it’s time you received the proper recognition and reward for the work you do – equal and proper pay, job security and increased investment in resources.

The return of Cordia’s services to council control is not the end of our fight; it’s just the beginning.

The priority of GMB is the defence of your interests. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email rhea.wolfson@gmb.org.uk

 Rhea Wolfson

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Glasgow City Council – Refuse & Cleansing Consultative Ballot

This morning (Monday 12 February) your GMB stewards counted our workplace consultative ballot, undertaken by the Blue shift on Thursday and Friday and the Red shift on Saturday and Sunday.

The result was as follows:

  • 80 per cent in favour of industrial action
  • 86 per cent in favour of action short of strike

It is clear that GMB members won't stand for a 12% cut to cleansing.

Our hope was that GCC would see sense and do the decent thing but it has become clear that Councillor Dalton has no intention to protect and extend the contract of temporary workers and there is no plan to deal with the extra work.

That only means one thing: they expect the remaining workforce to take on the work. That means an extra 12 per cent work on everyone's shoulders. Make no mistake; this is the thin end of the wedge for the future of your service in public hands.

Here and below is the letter Councillor Dalton sent in response to our previous letters. Also here and below is our response.

Today we have served notice to GCC that we are officially in dispute. In 7 days ballot papers will be sent to your home. GMB Scotland is urging everyone to vote YES to both options in order to defend your interests and to protect cleansing services for the long term.

I will be in regular communication over the coming days but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email rhea.wolfson@gmb.org.uk

Rhea Wolfson
GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member 

GMB Scotland in Education – Education Scotland Bill Response

Over the last year GMB Scotland has been campaigning hard to defend your interests.

We are clear that the increasingly challenging working conditions facing our members employed in the various school support staff roles is the untold story of the Scottish education system.

The state of education in Scotland is never far from the headlines. But what our political elite in Holyrood are not talking about is the rise in abuse and assault against classroom assistants or the growing disparity in pay and conditions between janitors and cleaners because of PFI-related contracts.

The Scottish Government’s recent consultation, ‘Empowering Schools’, The Education (Scotland) Bill, was an opportunity to start tackling these serious problems. But instead of bringing forward proposals for badly needed investment to boost jobs, pay and services for support staff, the focus was instead placed on the removal of power from local authorities.

It would seem the direction for the Scottish Government is to put more power into the hands of individual Head Teachers or Regional Collaborative bodies. This is an open door for increasing privatisation of non-teacher services and the attack on terms and conditions of staff.

GMB believes these proposals will pile more pressure on you – and you are already hard pressed enough. There needs to be a far greater respect and recognition for the massive contribution support staff make to our kids’ education and wellbeing.

You can read our full response and media statement to the Education Bill here .

If you have any questions about our response or just want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to contact your local GMB Scotland office or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Local Government – COSLA Pay Claim Update

GMB Scotland’s local government delegates have today (Friday 12 January) agreed to submit a pay claim to COSLA on your behalf, alongside the other joint trade unions in Scottish local government (Unison and Unite).

The joint trade union pay claim submission calls for a flat £1,500 increase or 6.5 per cent increase (whichever is greater) across all local government pay grades (based on a 37 hour working week) for 2018 /19.

Against the backdrop of a six year high in the cost of living and a decade of imposed austerity measures on your pay, this would deliver a significant pay rise for hard-pressed local government staff - and particularly for those on the lowest pay grades.

Below are some examples of what this claim would mean for our members pay:

Current Rate

Current Pay

New Pay

New Rate

Percentage

£8.51

£16373

£17873

£9.29

9.17%

£8.87

£17065

£18565

£9.65

8.79%

£9.15

£17604

£19104

£9.93

8.52%

£9.42

£18124

£19624

£10.20

8.28%

£10.14

£19509

£21009

£10.92

7.69%

£10.91

£20990

£22490

£11.69

7.15%

£11.72

£22549

£24049

£12.50

6.65%

£11.90

£22895

£24395

£12.68

6.55%

£12.05

£23184

£24691

£12.83

6.5%

£12.99

£24992

£26617

£13.83

6.5%

£13.58

£26127

£27826

£14.46

6.5%

GMB and our sister trade unions in local government will formally table this claim at the COSLA AGM this afternoon, where we will also call for a ‘no compulsory redundancy’ commitment across all thirty-two local authorities.

Today marks the start of negotiations with COSLA for your 2018/19 pay offer. Please be assured that any credible or final offer tabled by COSLA will be subject to a full consultative ballot of GMB members.

But only local government workers who are trade union members will be able to influence and vote on their pay, so there has never been a better time to tell your non-union colleagues to join GMB - www.gmb.org.uk/join/join-online

The priority of GMB Scotland is defence of our members’ interests and we will oppose any attempts to make you poorer, privatised or redundant.  

After a decade of cuts to your pay, jobs and services GMB says, ‘Enough is enough – it’s time to end the austerity shame of Scottish local government.’

As ever, I will update you as soon as practically possible on developments from the COSLA AGM but in the meantime, if you have any questions please contact scott.rogers@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

 

 

GMB Scotland - Glasgow City Council Pupil Support Assistant Survey

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of our members’ interests – always.

That’s why we have been campaigning to highlight the untold story of Scottish education: The rise of violence and aggression in classrooms against school support staff and the increasing challenges and demands of the job.

Freedom of Information (FoI) research conducted by GMB showed that in 2016 there were 1,113 reported incidents of violence and aggression against school support staff across schools in Glasgow City Council - an increase of nearly 30 per cent over a two year period.

GMB exposed this shameful situation in the national media, more of which you can read here but against the backdrop of continued austerity we have to keep campaigning hard if we want to tackle this growing scandal.

That’s why we are asking staff delivering pupil support services across Glasgow City Council schools to complete our survey:

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GMB_Scotland_PSA_Survey_GCC

GMB Scotland is clear:

  • Our schools must be safe places for the staff who work there - violence and aggression at work can never be accepted as normal.
  • There needs to be a far greater respect and recognition for the massive contribution support staff make to our kids’ education and wellbeing.

Your employer and politicians need to act. Make your voice heard. Please complete and return your survey by Wednesday 28 February. This is a confidential exercise and your personal details will not be shared with your employer.

If you have any questions or just want to find out more about our campaign, then please do not hesitate to get in touch - call me on 07710 618901 or email kirsty.nimmo@gmb.org.uk

Kirsty Nimmo
GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB calls on West Dunbartonshire Council to ‘think again’ over £13 million cuts

This Wednesday 20 December, GMB Scotland will join our sister trade unions in West Dunbartonshire Council to call on the local authority’s councillors to reject a devastating £13 million cuts plan.

Ahead of the council meeting, GMB has written an open letter to the council leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, calling on his administration to ‘think again’. You can read this here: http://bit.ly/2j8170L

Scottish local government has been hammered in the last decade by a combination of UK and Scottish Government austerity, made worse by eight years of a regressive council tax freeze policy which starved council budgets of essential funding.

This austerity shame is evidenced in our rubbish strewn streets, pot holed roads, pit stop home care services and struggling education services. Enough is enough - we cannot go on like this.

It is clear to GMB Scotland that the draconian proposals in this leaked document will only make our problems worse; stripping jobs, prosperity and dignity away from West Dunbartonshire.

Join us outside the Council Chambers on Garshake Road from 4.15PM this Wednesday and let’s all tell our local elected representatives to ‘think again’.  You can download our campaign posters from our GMB website here: http://bit.ly/2BqnNUH

If you have any questions or would like more details, please do not hesitate to contact me at rhea.wolfson@gmb.org.uk or on 07850 575023. 

Rhea Wolfson

GMB Scotland Organiser

 

 Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Education – School Support Staff Campaign Update 

You may have seen press coverage earlier this week highlighting increasing levels of violence and aggression against pupil support staff. This is a direct result of GMB Scotland’s campaigning on this issue and thanks to those members who have provided us with their stories of real experiences in Scottish schools.

You can read more about the figures which we have uncovered on incidents in schools by clicking on the image below.

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of our members’ interests. We campaign to ensure you receive the proper recognition and reward for your work and skills. And let’s be clear, it is not acceptable for anyone to feel unsafe or unsupported at work.

Support staff are the unsung heroes of Scottish education but too often they are treated like second class citizens in Scotland’s schools, overworked and undervalued. Enough is enough; the result of increased demands on your time and more cuts to school support budgets is just one more example Scotland’s austerity shame.

Our campaigning has also prompted questions in the Scottish Parliament this week but I know that we will only see real change if we keep up pressure and continue tell the stories of our dedicated school support staff.

GMB Scotland will continue our campaign to gain better recognition and treatment for the vital work of our support staff in our schools, politics and in public.

In the meantime if you have an experience from the frontline that you want to share in confidence, or want any further information about the campaign, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling me on 07710 618901 or email kirsty.nimmo@gmb.org.uk

Kirsty Nimmo
GMB Scotland Organiser

Additional Resources

GMB Scotland in Glasgow City Council: PSAs/SFLAs Campaign Day

download pdf530Kb (pdf) - 05 July 2018

Event Flyer

Response to Councillor Dalton Letter

download pdf59Kb (pdf) - 12 February 2018

GMB Scotland's Response to Councillor Dalton's Letter

Letter from Councillor Dalton

download pdf54Kb (pdf) - 12 February 2018

Letter Councillor Dalton sent in response to GMB Scotland's previous letters

West Dunbartonshire Council: Leaked Budget Proposals – An Open Letter

download pdf305Kb (pdf) - 15 December 2017

An open letter form GMB Scotland to Councillor McColl, Leader of the Council West Dunbartonshire Council

After 10 Years Of Austerity Enough Is Enough It's Time For A proper Pay Rise

download pdf811Kb (pdf) - 15 December 2017

Download a GMB Scotland West Dunbartonshire Council: Leaked Budget Proposals – Open Letter Flyer

After 10 Years Of Austerity Enough Is Enough! it's Time For A Proper Pay Rise!

download pdf795Kb (pdf) - 01 December 2017

Download a GMB Local Government Poster

Derek McKay MSP letter

download pdf49Kb (pdf) - 13 December 2017

Derek McKay MSP letter