Aberdeenshire UNISON

Fair payFair Pay Day 25th June 2013
Chocolate coins make the case for fair pay

Branch activists celebrated fair pay day by giving out chocolate coins "to make up for" a 13% pay cut over past 3 years.

See press release here

Events in Gordon House, Woodhill House and Meldrum Academy called on members to vote for strike action in the forthcoming ballot, and highlighted the impact of the pay cut on our members at a time when the 1000 richest have seen their wealth increase by a massive £155 billion - enough to clear the deficit three times over.

The ragged trousered philanthropist
The ragged trousered philanthropist gives out gold coins

Dressed as the ragged trousered philanthropist, Branch Chair, Kate Ramsden, along with Treasurer Ann Gray and International Officer, Bob Slessor, handed out chocolate coins and leaflets to members and application forms to many of the non-members in Gordon House.

A similar event in Woodhill House was also well supported. Inez Teece, Branch Secretary, Steve Gray, Asst Branch Secretary and Morag Lawrence, Magazine Editor, set up a stall outside the canteen where many members and non-members stopped to find out more.

Susan Kennedy, Asst Branch Secretary held a separate drop-in event in Meldrum Academy which also heard from members about the impact of cuts to school support staff which has affected badly staff morale and our children's education.


Celebrate with UNISON

The Branch will be celebrating Fair Pay Day with events at lunchtime in Gordon House and Woodhill House and from 4pm to 6.30pm at Meldrum Academy.

More funding for school support

The Meldrum Academy event is for school support staff, and as well as promoting fair pay, the branch will be finding out the issues for school support staff in the wake of recent service reviews, and launching a campaign for improved funding to support our most vulnerable young people in schools.

Susan Kennedy, Assistant Branch Secretary said, "We are aware that there are a lot of issues arising from recent reviews to all the school support services.

Susan Kennedy
Susan Kennedy

"As a Branch, we would like our members to tell us what the issues are affecting them in their role, so that together we can start up a campaign to put more funding back into school support."

Susan added, "We will also be promoting UNISON’s ‘Fair Pay Day’, where we can offer information and advice on the employers current pay offer of 1% and UNISON’s forthcoming ballot.

The meeting will be made up of short sessions to enable members to attend anytime between 4 and 6.30, so please make every effort to attend and encourage your colleagues to come along too (non-members welcome).


Get your (chocolate) money in Gordon House and Woodhill

Over lunchtime on 25th June, in Gordon House, Inverurie and Woodhill House, Aberdeen, the branch will promote Fair Pay Day by giving out chocolate money to staff to  make up for the 13% lost in the last three years and will urge members to vote for action in support of decent pay.

Kate Ramsden
Kate Ramsden

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "The strike ballot in July and August will ask members to support a minimum three days of strike action in the autumn.

“Council workers have seen their wages fall by 13% in real terms over the last three years," added Kate. "This is hard on all of us but particularly on the low paid, in one of the most expensive parts of Scotland to live. We know of members who are having to work three jobs just to make ends meet and others who are struggling to pay bills.

"Council staff here work extremely hard providing quality public services. We've had two years of pay freeze after a tiny 0.65% increase in 2010. And now we're only being offered 1%.

"We know there have been cutbacks. We see the effects locally all the time and we are all working under pressure after so many local government jobs have gone.

"But councils can afford it and we want to know why they don't value their staff more? Paying us a fair increase and making sure the lowest paid have a Living Wage that rises every year, will boost local economies here and in all the other council areas. We are the people who shop in our local shops and businesses and they depend on us.

"We know that Aberdeenshire Council is having problems recruiting staff, and no wonder. Our wages compare badly with many parts of the private sector in this area. Paying decent wages will help them retain and attract high quality staff so it’s a win win.”