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WORKFORCE MUST SHARE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SETTLEMENT

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UNISON has announced that it will be asking for a significant pay rise for ...
UNISON has announced that it will be asking for a significant pay rise for

local authority workers in Scotland when the four-year deal expires in 2004.

That deal was the outcome of several months of industrial action. This year's

claim will be the first negotiations that have taken place since that

settlement, and they are set against a background of funding allocations for

local councils of£7.7bn in 2004-5 and almost£8bn in 2005-6.

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish organiser for local government said: 'We

welcome Andy Kerr's two-year allocation for Scottish local government

earlier this month, but now we need to see that it goes into providing

services. Part of that means ensuring those people delivering services are

fairly paid. Now that the local councils have had a fair deal, they must

reciprocate with their own staff.'

Scottish local government trade unions will be agreeing their claim early

in the New Year. It is likely to be for a figure that above the rate of

inflation that deals with recruitment problems and addresses the gender

gap. Joe Di Paola said

'The claim will take account of the approx 5% overall level of

settlement allocated to local authorities. We will be discussing with our

trade union colleagues the best way to use the two-year settlement to

address problems of recruitmen and retention in social work and elsewhere

in local services, and to ensure low paid staff such as nursery nurses are

treated fairly. We must also address the problem of the gender gap in local

government. Women are still paid significantly less than men and this

cannot and should not continue.'

UNISON also welcomed the relaxation of the framework for capital

investment, allowing councils more freedom to increase capital investment.

Joe Di Paola said: 'Anything that provides an alternative to the expensive

and inefficient PFI route, is a step in the right direction. Whilst it is

only a step forward, it should allow more public money going into services and

less into the pockets of private companies.'

Andy Kerr, minister for finance and public services, announced the

allocations for Local authorities for 2004/5 and 2005/6 on 17 December in the

Scottish Parliament. Details of the announcement are available here.

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