Unison has started a work-to-rule and overtime ban at the Scottish Social Services Council as part of a pay dispute.
The action at the country’s professional social care regulator began last Friday, after members backed action short of a strike in a ballot. Unison branch secretary Peter Ritchie said the action was in protest against an effective pay freeze for 2006-7, an indequate pay offer for 2007-8 and proposals for a new grading structure, designed to implement equal pay.
He said the proposed new structure would see 16 of 80 staff lose up to £9,000 in salary after three years’ pay protection, though admitted 57 would gain.
However, he said the increases arising from the new structure would wipe out a 3.29% rise in the pay bill earmarked for 2006-7, meaning staff would not receive any cost-of-living increase for the last financial year.
Ritchie added that Unison had rejected a 3.54% offer by the SSSC for 2007-8, which he said amounted to a basic rise of just 2% for all staff. The rest of the offer would go into incremental pay rises for staff in particular grades.
Ritchie, however, accepted that the SSSC, like other Scottish quangos, was at the mercy of the Scottish government in terms of the amount of money it could offer staff.
A spokesperson for the regulator said: “The SSSC pay offer had to comply with and be agreed by the pay unit of Scottish government.”
She added that the regrading was ordered by the Scottish government and also subject to its pay policy.
Scottish Social Services Council