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Date: Weds 25 November 2009

Local Government workers submit pay claim for next year

Unions representing 150,000 Scottish local council workers, today, submitted their claim for an annual pay rise at the annual meeting of the negotiating body, The Scottish Joint Council in Edinburgh. This claim is for the period starting in April 2010 when the current agreement ceases.

The claim is for a one-year rise of 3% or 600 (whichever is the greater) with a significant underpinning for the low paid - including a claim for all workers to be paid a living wage of at least 7.00 per hour.

UNISON Regional Officer and lead negotiator, Dougie Black , said "This claim is simply an attempt by our members, who include the lowest paid of Scotland's council workers, to maintain their standard of living in the teeth of what is predicted to be increasing inflationary pressures. The RPI is forecast to steadily rise to 2.6% in the 1st quarter of 2010 before reaching 3.1% in the second quarter of 2010, and we have already experienced the fact that increases in inflation - especially in basic necessities like food and fuel - impact particularly hard on low-paid members. Our members in Scotland's local councils have already delivered around 200 m worth of efficiency savings with a loss of around 7,000 jobs. It is only fair that councils should share these efficiency savings with staff as well as with council tax payers."

UNISON the largest union in Scottish local services says that it is particularly important to treat low-paid staff fairly.

Stephanie Herd - Chair of UNISON's Local Government Group said "Local councils have already agreed to pay their chief officials 2.5% over this period, and teaching staff 2.4%. It would be invidious if our political leaders now try to make the lowest paid staff pay for the economic crisis. Bankers and fat cats in the city get help - it is time for hard-pressed public service workers to get that help."

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