Pay deal to go through in Scotland as UNISON members give assent

2023-24 settlement, worth about an additional £2,000 for council social workers, to go ahead, with GMB and Unite having already accepted it

pay key on keyboard
Photo: md3d/Fotolia

The local government pay deal in Scotland for 2023-24 will now go through after UNISON members reportedly gave their assent.

The union – the largest representing councils in the country – had previously called members working in schools out on strike in relation to this year’s pay round, while members of counterparts GMB and Unite voted to accept an improved offer from employers’ body COSLA in October.

However, UNISON suspended strike action earlier this month, agreed to ballot members on a settlement and recommended that they vote to accept, following a further improvement to the proposed deal from COSLA.

The ballot closed today and, according to COSLA, UNISON members voted in favour of the offer.

Welcoming the news, COSLA’s resources spokesperson, Katie Hagmann, said: “Throughout this challenging process, we have listened carefully to our trade unions, met all their asks, and worked with Scottish Government to put an incredibly strong half a billion pound pay package forward.

For the sake of everyone in our local government workforce, who are delivering essential front-line services, I am pleased that the pay offer has now been accepted by all of our trade union colleagues.”

Pay deal for council staff in Scotland

  • A £2,006 (9.59%) rise for the lowest paid (earning the equivalent of £20,933 on a full-time salary) and a minimum of £1,929 for all other staff.
  • A social worker earning £33,531 (spinal point 55) would receive an extra £2,199 (6.56%).
  • A practitioner earning £38,586 (spinal point 65) would receive an extra £2,334 (6.05%).
  • A taskforce to work towards a local government minimum wage of £15 an hour by 2026-27, up from £11.89, under the newly agreed deal.

Speaking before the ballot result, UNISON Scotland’s head of local government, Johanna Baxter said: “Over the past few months, from the employers’ original offer to today, the action of UNISON members has secured more than an additional £100m into the pockets of local government workers. This includes an additional £17.2m secured in the last couple of weeks.

“It was UNISON members who stood on picket lines to fight for a better deal. It was UNISON negotiators who brokered this deal. And it will be UNISON members who determine whether it gets accepted.”

, ,

One Response to Pay deal to go through in Scotland as UNISON members give assent

  1. letting social workers down December 4, 2023 at 3:38 pm #

    Indeed it was UNISON. UNISON who brokered a poor deal for Social Workers by comparison to what was achieved for teachers by a specialist professional Trade Union (EIS). It was unarguably the trio of large generalist unions and their inability to understand differences between the pressures of being a frontline social worker to filling pot holes, emptying bins, and collecting council tax. It was unspeakably UNISON, GMB and UNITE who badly advised their social work members to accept an unjust pay deal in contrast to the 14.6% EIS secured from COSLA. EIS General Secretary recently discussed at STUC strike event – they knew COSLA would drag their heels offering 5-6% so EIS used the time to organise – getting ballot ready, strike ready, and dispelling government Myths of budget constraints. EIS members sought 10% in Feb 2022, COSLA offering 5% then 6%, early 2023 offered 6.5% and this was then markedly increased to 14.6% by March 2023. Maybe something to learn from professional Trade Unions negotiating, they seem more able to understand the labour exchange value for social workers and not merging them with all local government jobs. I am curious about what SWU might have achieved if LAs and the 3 generalist unions were not so fearful of them being involved in collective bargaining.