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Date: Tue 16 July 2013

Inflation up – Scotland’s local government workers deserve fair pay

UNISON Scotland said today that inflation rising to 2.9% is grim news for hard pressed workers struggling to make ends meet.

The public services union is currently balloting members in local government on strike action to win an improvement on COSLA’s pay offer of just 1%.

Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said:

“Sustained high inflation, coupled with a prolonged pay freeze, then squeeze for millions of public sector workers across the UK, has hit families hard.

“Parents are cutting back on food, clothes, even on things for their children – they are being priced out of basic living. Meanwhile, it is still boom time for British bankers who are dominating the EU bankers’ rich list.

“Our members in Scottish local government have seen the value of their pay fall by more than 10% in the last three years. They have been offered just 1%, despite inflation now being almost 3%. No wonder they are angry.

“They deserve fair pay and a commitment to annual rises in the Living Wage. This would also boost local economies. Putting money into people’s pockets so they can get out and spend makes good economic sense.”

ENDS

For information please contact:
Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary, 07939 143355
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877000

Notes to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, including staff at all 32 local authorities.

2. The union’s local government membership includes cooks, cleaners, classroom assistants, housing staff, library workers, cleansing and environmental protection staff, technicians and trading standards workers and early years workers and social work staff .

3. Members whose conditions are linked to local government pay and conditions are also being balloted.

4. The ballot opened on July 3rd and runs to 13 August, with a proposal, if members vote yes, of a minimum of three days of strike action over a seven week period in the autumn. Two of these would be national one day strikes and there would be a rolling programme of one day strikes around the country. Selective action is also being considered.

5. Details of UNISON’s Yes to Fair Pay campaign are online at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2013/index.html

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