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Date: Tues 25 June 2013

Fair Pay Day of Action for local government workers

Unions today (Tuesday) launched a Fair Pay Day supporting Scottish local government workers as they prepare to vote on strike action.

Trade unionists on the STUC Austerity Uncovered tour asked why council workers are being offered a ‘measly’ 1% pay rise when ‘fat cats’* on the Sunday Times Rich List saw their wealth soar by £116 billion in the last three years.

UNISON branches across Scotland are holding workplace events and lobbying councillors today as they campaign for a Yes vote in the strike ballot, which opens next week.

And in Dundee the Austerity Uncovered anti-cuts ‘battle bus’ continues its tour of local communities hit hard by the UK Coalition Government attacks on jobs, pay and benefits that are hitting the most vulnerable so hard.

Dougie Black, Regional Organiser, said: “Local government workers are struggling to make ends meet after the value of their pay has gone down nearly 13% in three years, while their daily bills go up and up.

“What communities need is workers spending money locally. We know that council workers do that, so giving them a Living Wage, with annual increases, and a fair pay rise, will boost local economies.”

Dave Moxham, STUC Deputy General Secretary, will speak at the Fair Pay day event in Dundee at lunchtime. He said: “Just a few days into the Austerity Uncovered tour, STUC has confirmed through what people tell us that, along with unemployment, low pay is a major cause of suffering.

“Local government workers have tightened their belts following serial real terms pay cuts and many can go no further with debts mounting. Council tax freezes, which most benefit those in big houses, are squeezing council budgets and causing cuts in services and workers’ pay.”

ENDS

*A ‘Fat Cat’ will be on hand at the Dundee event to contrast his lifestyle with council workers struggling to make ends meet.

For information please contact:

Notes to editors:

1. Dougie Black and Dave Moxham will be available for interview at the Dundee event, which starts from 12 noon on Tues 25 June, with a ‘Fat Cat’, local government workers, leafleting, family fun/face painting etc. At Murraygate (outside Ladbrokes). Speakers: 12.45pm.

2. 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.

3. 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. Details of UNISON’s #YestoFairPay campaign are online at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2013/index.html

4. The ballot will run from 3 July 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. Unite is also balloting members in local government.

6. Details of the STUC Austerity Uncovered tour are at www.thereisabetterway.org/austerity-uncovered/nationwide-tour It culminates with a conference Scotland United Against the Bedroom Tax in Edinburgh on Saturday 29 June.

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