Pay and grading rejected as totally unacceptable
Members will have seen press stories about staff losing pay under
the new Pay and Grading scheme in Edinburgh.
What the stories do not make clear is that the unions have
rejected the latest proposals from the Council as totally unacceptable.
One of the main problems is that the council has set the 'pay
line' too low and not allowed enough money for the implementation.
This would result in losses for many members.
UNISON has demanded the Council increases the 3% funding it is
putting into the scheme. The Council has now gone off to think
again and talks are expected to re-start at the end of June.
To further push its point, the Branch has called for talks with
the new political groups on the Council to brief them and find
out where they stand on the pay and grading scheme. Dates have
been set for the next couple of weeks.
Job evaluation - check your points!
Stewards have been issued with details of the job evaluation
results. These show scores for jobs and proposed grades. If you
believe the points given to your job are out of line with comparable
posts, get on to your steward right away.
How will members be consulted?
There will eventually have to be a ballot on the final proposals
but before that a number of things have to happen:
- We need to get back round the table and agree improvements
to the current proposals
- Once a final proposal has been tabled it must be equality
assessed and approved by UNISON HQ.
- If it passes the test then the branch will ballot members.
What if we cannot agree?
If we cannot agree an acceptable scheme and the Council tries
to impose it, we have to consider on industrial action. There
is no doubt this would be a tough fight. That is why the branch
is considering a small added levy on your subs to top up strike
pay for members who may be asked to take action for us all. This
levy would be modest and you will be balloted before it could
be put in place.
What about changes to conditions?
The negotiators' position is that conditions and job evaluation
must be dealt with separately and they are taking advice on the
possibility of separate ballots.
What about equal pay claims?
Due to the council dragging its heels, more and more women are
taking tribunal cases. Edinburgh UNISON has hundreds listed (our
members who refused the council's 'strings-attached' compensation
offer) and is working with headquarters on them. People who accepted
the compensation offer will have a case for more compensation
as time drags on and inequality persists.
Why do we need to keep negotiating?
Job evaluation is part of the deal signed in 1999. In addition,
the council must come up with a scheme to meet the legislation.
It is better that the union and its members are part of that process.
The union cannot associate itself with standing in the way of
an equal pay system and will not do so.
Equality and fairness is what we have long campaigned for.
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