Aberdeenshire UNISON


Press Release 24th June 2013

Council workers celebrate fair pay day and campaign for a YES vote in the pay ballot

Aberdeenshire UNISON will today, Fair Pay Day (25th June), step up its campaign for a YES vote for strike action in support of fair pay.

Activists will give out chocolate money to staff in council offices in Gordon House, Inverurie and Woodhill House, Aberdeen, 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.

And in Meldrum Academy, the after school event for school support staff will also find out from front-line workers, the impact of service reviews and cuts in school support to our most vulnerable children, and will launch a campaign for improved funding.

The public services union is holding a strike ballot in July and August, asking members to support a minimum three days of strike action in the autumn. Members earlier rejected an offer of a 1% pay rise.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, “Council workers have seen their wages fall by 13% in real terms over the last three years. 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.”

Susan Kennedy, Assistant Branch Secretary, herself a pupil support assistant, and low paid member added: "It's not right that we are being offered so little when you see bankers getting bonuses, the rich getting richer and everyone knows the financial crisis was not the fault of ordinary workers.

“I am angry at being treated so badly and I will be voting yes for strike action. We deserve fair pay.”


For further information contact
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair 07767 027722
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary 07780781953
Susan Kennedy, Assistant Branch Secretary 07725 570325
Steve Gray, Branch Pay Champion 07768 703815

Additional Information

The event in Gordon House, Inverurie is from 12.30-2pm. It will feature the ragged trousered philanthropist who will give out chocolate money to staff to make up for a 13% pay cut over the last three years.

The event in Woodhill will be held from 12.30-2pm. Activists will also give out chocolate money.

The Meldrum Academy event will be held from 4-6.30pm and will be a drop-in session