Unite recommends council workers reject COSLA pay deal

Written by Jenni Davidson on 8 January 2019 in News

The current offer is a 3.5 per cent pay increase in 2018 and three per cent in the following two years

Unite - Image credit: Dun.can via Flickr

Unite has recommended that its members reject a 3.5 per cent pay offer by local government body COSLA.

Following a meeting the trade union’s local authority committee, which recommended turning down the revised pay offer, Unite will now hold a consultative ballot of its local authority members on the pay deal.

The current offer is a 3.5 per cent pay increase in 2018, three per cent in 2019 and three per cent in 2020, but without a ‘trigger clause’, which the union wants to allow the option to re-open the three-year pay offer if Brexit results in rising inflation.

However, the committee said the revised pay offer does not restore council workers to the levels of real terms pay from ten years ago.
 
Elaine Dougal, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “Unite’s local authority representatives have recommended that our membership reject the revised pay offer.

“The reality remains that even with the slight increase for 2018, it still represents a significant pay cut and does not restore us anywhere close to real terms pay levels from a decade ago.

“The committee also judged that being tied into a three year deal in the context of all the uncertainties surrounding Brexit could in fact result in an additional pay cut if inflation rises.” 

Unite’s local authority members previously rejected the three per cent pay offer by 73 per cent in October 2018.

Responding to the announcement, COSLA’s resources spokesperson, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said:  “I am bitterly disappointed with today’s decision by Unite to recommend rejection of the pay offer. 

“Especially as it comes on the back of lengthy but constructive negotiations.”

The ballot of Unite members will open on Monday 14 January and run until 29 January.

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