Scots social workers want 5% extra pay as vacancies increase

Scotland’s social work and care professionals are calling for a minimum £1,000 increase in their pay from April 2008.

The local government pay claim has been submitted by Scotland’s three main public sector unions, Unison, Unite and the GMB. They are to press for a £1,000 or 5% increase – whichever is the greater – for all 220,000 staff employed by Scottish councils over 2008-9.

In addition to the pay element of the claim, the unions want a three-day increase in annual leave (both at basic level and after five years’ service) and an extra day of public holiday.

Dougie Black, secretary of the trade union negotiators, said: “This is a fair reward for the work that local government staff put in to delivering our essential public services.”

The claim would be double the 2.5% annual increase agreed under the existing two-year deal that is due to end in April 2008.

Employers body the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said meetings were under way, but that any claim “has to be seen within the context of the 2.45% increase agreed in England and Wales”.

Meanwhile, the Scottish government’s bi-annual social worker vacancy figures show social worker vacancies have increased significantly between April and October 2007. Over the six-month period, social worker vacancies rose from 362 to 392 whole time equivalents, although the number of posts dropped only slightly from 5,043 in April 2007 to 5,036 in October.

However, over the past year, the total number of filled posts has increased by 1.8%.

Scottish social worker statistics

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