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West Lothian Council

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in West Lothian Council - Industrial Action Ballot Result

Thank you to all our members who voted in the industrial action ballot against WLC’s attempts to impose a revised Policy on the Misuse of Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances.

You have voted by 83.9% in favour of taking strike action.  

The policy that WLC want to impose is blatantly unfair. The council's D&A policy must be consistently applied to every employee, not just those in selected services.

Our priority is the defence of your interests and GMB will not stand while our members have to be randomly tested while other employees don't - it sets a dangerous precedent. 

WLC cannot point to any evidence that suggests there is an issue with alcohol or substance misuse within the council, with existing policy only used a handful of times in the last 5 years.

If the new policy is imposed WLC would be only the second council in Scotland to introduce random testing; the other being the Orkney Islands Council for their sea-faring staff. 

GMB will now ask for urgent talks with WLC seeking equality of testing throughout the council, with our preferred approach being a 'with cause' testing regime.

Proper consultation is the way forward. If WLC do not react positively to our very reasonable proposals then we will serve notice and set dates for industrial action.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your GMB workplace rep, call me on 0131 322 9270 (during office hours) or email

Keir Greenaway

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB member,

GMB Scotland in West Lothian Council - Industrial Action Ballot

Your industrial action ballot is posted today, Wednesday 14 August, it is vitally important that you Vote YES and return the ballot as soon as possible.

The revised Drug and Alcohol policy is clearly unfair, unjust and over the top.

West Lothian Council can not and have not provided evidence to suggest there is an issue with Drugs and Alcohol that requires this heavy handed approach that goes beyond every other council in Scotland.

The list of safety critical jobs unfairly and unjustly targets some workers for random testing, GMB believes there should be equity across the whole workforce.

Is it fair that the Chief Executive earning £140,000 won't be randomly tested but you will be?

Please Vote YES in your industrial action ballot and GMB will campaign for the policy to be changed to 'with cause' testing for all which is the fairest and safest approach.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with me at, or by calling the office on 0131 322 9270.

Keir Greenaway

GMB Scotland Organiser
Dear GMB member,
GMB Scotland in West Lothian Council - Misuse of Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances policy - Industrial Action Ballot
GMB will always campaign in defence of your interests.
You were balloted on the revised Policy on the Misuse of Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances, which you rejected by a clear 85%.
The policy is unfair as it targets certain roles for random testing with no evidence to support random testing or the choice of these roles.
West Lothian Council is being massively heavy handed as no other council in Scotland has random testing except for Shetland who only test their sea-faring staff.
GMB met with Julie Whitelaw, Wednesday 7 August to tell West Lothian Council about your objections and ask them to pause the introduction of the policy to engage with GMB meaningfully.
West Lothian Council ignored your clear rejection of the policy and want to carry on regardless, therefore we have issued notice of industrial action ballot to West Lothian Council.
It is clearly unjust and unfair to treat West Lothian Council workers differently when it comes to different forms of testing.
Your industrial action ballot will start 14 August and close on 30 August. It is important that you vote Yes for industrial action to stop the introduction of this revised policy that unfairly singles you out for random testing.
Many thanks,
Keir Greenaway
GMB Scotland Organiser