to defend terms and conditions
Update 4th June
Members vote to accept new terms and conditions
Branch members have voted to accept the council's revised terms
and conditions package but respondents identified a number of
issues of concern.
the ballot, 75% voted to accept 25% voted to reject This gives
a majority 50% of those voting to accept the proposals to change
the Current Terms and Conditions.
However, Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "It must be
noted that although there is a general agreement to the new proposals,
some issues remain for many workers, even those that have accepted
the revised offer."
- The loss of significant income for some mainly female staff
that are compelled due to the nature of their post, to work
shifts covering 365 days per year 24hrs a day. These employees
do not have a choice when to work and feel still that they are
being disadvantaged compared to 9-5 Monday to Friday workers
who can choose to work in the evening or weekends.
- That these proposals only affect a proportion of employees.
This leaves them feeling that they are taking a disproportionate
cut compared to others with the Council.
- That the sudden removal of the lump sum for car usage is too
much to take at one time, considering that the Council still
requires in some contracts that workers must provide a car for
Council business. This again is an extra burden on some staff.
- The consultation response has suggested/proposed that the
Council consider paying half the lump sum for one year then
remove allowing time to budget and possibly offering a buyout
of the allowance.
- It has strongly been proposed by responses that the requirement
to provide a car for Council purposes be removed from all contracts
as a result of the removal of the lump sum.
- Concerns that the changes to the standby/on call payments
for Social Workers will have a detrimental effect on the ability
to recruit sufficient staff to cover the requirements of the
service, when it is already a difficulty with current pay rates.
- Respondents have queried whether the allowances are set in
"stone" or whether they will change in the future in line with
pay increases or inflation.
Inez added, "Although there remain outstanding concerns
about the new proposals it is clear from UNISON's response that
members are in agreement to the changes and accept the new proposals
but would still like consideration to be given to some aspects.
"These will be taken forward in our further discussions
with the council.
Update 22nd May
Ballot papers out now
The Branch has issued ballot papers to all our members in Local
Government to get your views on the councils' new plans for your
terms and conditions.
Please return your ballot paper by 1st June and have your
here to see the Branch Briefing on the pros and cons of the new
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and chief negotiator said, "UNISON,
along with the other trade unions has been negotiating for improvements
in the council's proposals on terms and conditions.
"Due to the massive no vote at the first ballot the Council
have come up with a set of revised proposals.
"UNISON believes this currently is the best that can be
achieved through negotiation. Some people still stand to lose
significant income but there are proposals that lessen those losses
and protect the lower paid," said Inez, pointing specifically
to the council's plan to adopt the Scottish Living Wage.
"We are asking you to look at all the pros and cons and
tell us whether you wish to accept or reject these proposals,
bearing in mind that if you reject, you are indicating that you
would be willing to take further action to get an improved offer."
Ballot papers must be returned by 1st June 2012
Update 10th May
Unions will consult on new plans
The Branch will be consulting on a new terms and consitions package
within the next few weeks. Only trade union members will have
a say on whether or nor to accept these proposals.
In an email to members, Inez Teece, Branch Secretary urged members
to speak to their colleagues and to encourage them to join UNISON
to make sure that they have a say.
"Remember, it's you, the members, who will decide,"
here to join UNISON
UNISON, along with the other trade unions, has continued negotiating
with the Council on an improved Terms and Conditions package,
after the response to the last set of proposals forced the council
back to the table.
Update 18th April
Council returns to negotiating table on Terms and Conditions plans
Aberdeenshire council has set up a series of meetings with
the joint trade unions for further discussions on terms and conditions.
The move comes after all the trade unions rejected the original
proposals on ballots of members, with some 92% voting NO in our
UNISON ballot. There was also a massive response to the Council's
The Branch has issued a Briefing to members to update them on
the union's position.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "We have indicated to
our members that we will be entering further discussions with
the Council on Terms and Conditions. It is clear from the response
to our ballot that the majority of our members feel very strongly
about the proposals and want to reject them.
"It is through your support and that the council have returned
to the negotiating table," she added.
"We will now enter negotiations knowing that we have the
strength and opinion of our membership behind us and we will endeavour
to achieve the best results for all of you.
"At the end of the day all decisions will be made by Trade
Union members. You will be balloted and you will have your say."
The Branch will continue to keep members updated throughout
Update 3rd March
UNISON calls on council to rethink as members reject cuts plans
The Branch has called on the council to rethink its cuts
plans and to get back round the negotiating table, as members
voted overwhelmingly to reject Aberdeenshire Council's planned
cuts to term and conditions.
On a 45% return, a massive 92% gave a resounding NO to the council's
here to see Branch response to the consultation which includes
comments from members.
The Branch issued a Briefing
for elected members, which calls on councillors to reconsider
their proposals for terms and conditions.
here to see Branch Press release
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "UNISON has warned the council
that these cuts to terms and conditions are unfair, unjustified
and counterproductive. They are targeting front-line staff, most
of them women, who provide essential and emergency services to
the people of Aberdeenshire. Some of them stand to lose up to
a quarter of their salary.
£11 million underspend
"The council had an underspend of £11 million last year, yet still
they are planning to cut the wages of their lowest paid staff
to make a saving of just over £5 million. And this on top of a
wage freeze, which is a real terms pay cut, at a time when the
cost of food and fuel is spiralling. We think that there are other
ways that the council could save this money, without hitting already
hard pressed staff.
"Our low paid members are extremely worried, upset and downright
angry that, yet again, they and they people they work to support,
are bearing the brunt of the budget cuts. Morale is at rock bottom,"
Ramsden, Branch Chair added, "The council is rightly proud
of the quality of the services it provides to vulnerable groups,
such as older people. It states that its aim is to provide high
quality services at a cost comparable with the private and voluntary
No race to the bottom
"However, the costs of these services have been driven down
by the need to make a profit in the private sector and by squeezing
pay and conditions in the voluntary sector.
"In the care sector this has led to a reduction in quality
standards, with high turnovers of staff; insufficient staff and
staff who are more poorly trained and supported. In the worst
case scenarios it has led to companies such as Southern Cross
going into administration, leaving councils to pick up the pieces,
often at high cost.
"Driving down costs by attacking the pay and conditions
of some of our lowest paid staff will not only affect the workers
but will also affect the quality of the service provided. Many
of our members are saying that they will need to look for alternative
employment if this happens, as they will be unable to afford to
work in the residential and home care sector. They say that they
will be unwilling to work public holidays and weekends, with all
the impact this has on their family and social life, if the council
does not recognize this in their pay structure.
"Our members point to the excellent service that Aberdeenshire
Council provides to its older people both in residential care
and home care services and ask what priority the council gives
to its elderly citizens when it is so prepared to compromise the
service it provides to them. The council should not engage in
a race to the bottom," warned Kate.
Update 1st March
Members vote overwhelmingly to reject cuts plans
UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly to reject Aberdeenshire
Council's planned cuts to term and conditions. On a 45% ballot
return, a massive 92% gave a resounding NO to the council's plans.
The Branch has submitted a response to the consultation on terms
and conditions and has called on the council to rethink their
plans and to get back round the negotiating table.
Update 25th Feb
Last chance to complete your ballot paper
Members must return their ballot on terms and conditions to the
Branch Resource Centre by Monday 27th Feb and all are urged to
do this. The response so far has been excellent but it is really
important that all members in the Council have their say.
SO PLEASE, IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE IT, GET YOUR BALLOT
PAPER INTO US
Update 23rd Feb
Well attended meetings slam council's cuts plans
At a series of well-attended meetings across Aberdeenshire, the
Branch heard from a whole range of members about the immediate
and serious impact that the proposed cuts to terms and conditions
will have on their take home pay and their livelihood, with many
describing cuts of up to a quarter of their salary.
Their colleagues in 9-5 jobs, not immediately affected by these
pay cuts, pledged their support, recognising that the council's
plans open the door for changes to everyones' working hours and
terms and conditions. Here are some of the things our members
"Obviously a few hundred pounds taken from your monthly
wage will have a big affect and while I appreciate cuts have to
be made why should it always be the worker on the floor who is
hit the most? As a shift worker my social family life is limited
and the enhancements go somewhere to compensate for the weekend
working. Take these away and my working hours will be a throwback
to years gone by!"
"Almost all of the changes to terms and conditions
affect us. We are estimating a cut in salary of £8,000 per year
that is £666.00 per month."
"On hours worked at the moment I would be £1,000 worse
off which affects, pension, loans, mortgage etc. I think cuts
should start from the top. I would be happy for one of the Directors
to come out with me and see what the job entails."
"I have sat here and listened to fellow colleagues
of how the new T's & C's are going to affect them and I'm outraged.
Somewhere down the line I feel that I will be affected too."
"Shift allowance basically make up 1/3 of my wages
and I currently also receive weekend and night enhancements. Should
these payments be removed or reduced it will force me to look
for alternative employment. This is because the cost of basic
living costs are continuing to rise and it is already very difficult
to make ends meet at present with the pay freeze. When on early
shift I am up a 3.30am to enable me to get to work on time and
do essential safety checks before service users arrive. I also
have a 25 minute car journey each way that I don't get paid for.
I feel all employees are experiencing an increase in roles, responsibilities
and work loads off their own backs without payment."
"Removal of lump sum each month (will affect me)-
only £8.33 per month but despite increasing mileage from 40p to
45p, AA state it costs 90p - £1 per mile to run car."
"I am a full time carer, working mornings, lunchtime,
teatime, bedtime and weekends I use my own car to get about ***
they say we could get pool cars but there are so many carers that
there would not be enough pool cars to cover them all. This will
affect my wages and the hours I work, as I do quite a lot of overtime
to help my family have a slightly better way of life but with
the cost of living going up all the time it is very hard."
The Branch will include all the comments from members in their
response to the council's proposals and in a briefing to councillors.
These cuts are unfair, unnecessary and unjustified and the Branch
alongside our members and the other unions, will do all we can
to fight them.
Update 8th Feb 2012
Branch to ballot members on council's pay cut plans
The branch, along with the other trade unions is balloting members
on Aberdeenshire Council's plans to slash the terms and conditions
of its workers.
Ballot papers and a members' briefing will be sent out
from 8th Feb. If you don't receive a ballot paper please contact
the UNISON Resource Centre on 01224 620624 and request one. Only
UNISON members may vote in the ballot.
UNISON, GMB, UCATT and UNITE have all condemned the council's
proposals and we are calling on our members to reject these in
the consultative ballots that each union is holding.
here to see Joint Union Press Release
Branch Meetings on changes to Terms and
The Branch has organised a series of meetings throughout Aberdeenshire
and will ballot members on their views of the changes. Please
come along and find out how these cuts to terms and conditions
will affect you and what you can do to stop them.
- Mon 13th February Council Chamber, Gordon House, Inverurie
12 noon to 2pm
- Mon 13th February Council Chamber, Viewmount, Stonehaven
10am to 12 noon
- Mon 13th February Committee Room 5, Woodhill House,
Aberdeen 4.30pm to 6pm
- Tues 14th February Macduff Town Hall, Macduff 12 noon
- Wed 15th February Council Chamber, Arbuthnot House,
Peterhead 12 noon to 2pm
- Thurs 16th February Council Chamber, Gordon House,
Inverurie 4.30pm to 6pm
- Friday 17th February Committee Room 5, Woodhill House,
Aberdeen 12 noon to 2pm
Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be provided.
Some staff set to face big pay cuts
Teece, UNISON Branch Secretary said, "These cuts will affect all
staff but the biggest impact will be felt by low paid, predominantly
female, workers in front line jobs who rely on the unsocial hours
enhancements and overtime to make a living wage in the most expensive
part of Scotland to live. These are the very people who deliver
essential front line services, often to our most vulnerable citizens.
"Now that our members have seen these proposals they are very
worried. Many are telling us that they will lose up to a fifth
of their pay if they go through.
"One of our members who works 30 hours a week, including two
weekends out of three, as a domestic in a care home providing
care for our vulnerable older people has worked out that she will
lose around £1,600 out of a pay of just over £12,000 a year. That
is a pay cut for the council's poorest paid staff of around 13%.
"Another member who works as an Assistant Manager stands to lose
£6,000 from a salary of around £30,000. That is one-fifth of her
income gone. That can't be right," Inez added.
"And this is on top of the real terms pay cut of around 10% over
the last two years as a result of the pay freeze combined with
inflation and the ever increasing cost of living."
Ramsden, Branch Chair added, "We believe that these proposals
are discriminatory, particularly against low paid women. However,
despite our requests, the council has not provided the trade unions
with detailed information on the impact on particular groups,
or the amount of savings that each proposal represents."
Update 28th Jan 2012
Branch calls on members to reject council's "unjustified"
attacks on terms and conditions
The Branch has condemned Aberdeenshire Council's plans to
slash the terms and conditions of their workers. They have warned
that the proposed changes will affect all staff but the council's
plans to cut overtime and unsocial hours payments will hit low
paid, mainly women workers hardest. UNISON has joined with GMB,
UCATT and UNITE to call on members to reject the council's proposals
in their entirety.
here to see the Joint union press release issued on 30th Jan
Low paid hardest hit
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "We believe the council's
proposals on changes to Terms and Conditions go too far at a time
when workers are also suffering the effects of pay freezes and
"These proposals affect all staff but disproportionately
affect low paid workers and we are calling on members to reject
She added, "We are particularly concerned that the biggest impact
of these draconian cuts to terms and conditions will be felt by
low paid, predominantly female, workers who rely on the unsocial
hours enhancements and overtime to make a living wage, in the
most expensive part of Scotland to live.
"The council's own estimates show that some of our lowest paid
members could lose up to 18% of their take home pay under these
plans. And this is on top of the real terms cut of around 10%
over the last two years, as a result of the pay freeze combined
with inflation and the ever increasing cost of living."
Unfair, unnecessary and unjustified
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair added, "We believe that these proposals
are unfair, unnecessary and unjustified. The Council says they
will save £5 million after 4 years. However, the council has already
made savings of £5 million this year, on the back of our members
who have carried on providing services to the people of Aberdeenshire
whilst dealing with the stress of service reviews, job regradings
and job loss, redeployments and vacancy control. We say, enough
She warned, "The Council says that evening and weekend working
is now regarded as part of the normal working week and therefore
shouldn't attract any special payments. We do not accept this.
"The worst employers in the retail and care sectors give no recognition
to the disruption to family and social life through working unsocial
hours to provide essential services. But Aberdeenshire Council
says it wants to be an exemplary employer of choice. It shouldn't
be seeking to ape the worst employers - it should be setting the
standard for all employers in Aberdeenshire."
Reject the proposals
Inez added, "Think about the staff that provide services
over 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, including care staff, refuse
staff, the roads workers that keep our roads gritted throughout
the Winter, and many more low paid staff. They will see their
wages decimated by these proposals. That is a step too far for
She added, "Even if you believe they don't affect you now,
in the future you may rely on one or more of these conditions
to help maintain your income," she added, warning that there
is no need for these drastic cuts, which attack all staff but
hit low paid workers hardest.