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Date: Tues 23 July 2013

Dispute over pay at Citizens Advice Direct goes to ACAS

UNISON is tomorrow (Wednesday) taking a dispute over pay cuts of up to 6% at the Citizens Advice telephone service to ACAS.

The Scottish telephone and web based advice service Citizens Advice Direct (CAD) wants to withdraw its current contribution based pay scheme under which staff who achieve targets can earn a pay rise of up to 6% annually.

In a consultative ballot, 100% of UNISON members rejected the latest changes to staff terms and conditions. They are angry that eligible staff would lose out significantly this year and in the future.

Deborah Dyer, Regional Organiser, said in advance of tomorrow’s talks at ACAS in Glasgow: “Our members have worked very hard but are being told they won’t be paid the rise they are due, which would be added to their salary for future years too.

“We understand the difficult climate that CAD are having to operate in. But given the big increase in demand for the valuable services they provide, we are disappointed that staff are being asked to take a significant pay cut. 

“The cost of living is increasing and staff had a realistic expectation that the targets they had worked so hard to achieve would result in them being paid the contractually agreed rate.”

UNISON has also complained that the charity intends to make changes to staff terms and conditions without meaningful consultation.

Deborah added: “UNISON is disappointed that we have had to come to ACAS to resolve this dispute. 

“We have been asking CAD to return to the negotiating table but to no avail. Staff are very concerned about the changes, but are keen to seek a resolution so that they can concentrate on providing a first class service to members of the public who are being directly affected by the government’s austerity measures.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:
1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland.

2. CAD and UNISON will meet for the talks on Wednesday afternoon, 24 July, at the offices of the ACAS arbitration and conciliation service in Glasgow.

3. UNISON won trade union recognition at CAD last year after more than 50% of the staff joined the union.

4. CAD is based in Glasgow and is an independent member of Citizens Advice Scotland. The advice service is largely provided by volunteers.

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