Aberdeenshire UNISON

Paltry pay award for Cornerstone highlights funding crisis in the Voluntary Sector

Financial constraints amongst voluntary sector providers has meant that UNISON has had to reluctantly accept a 1.5% pay award for our members working in Cornerstone.

The branch held a consultative ballot of members which showed that almost 70% of those voting wanted to reject the offer. However, as less than one in three members voted this was not seen as a mandate for action, leading to the decision to reluctantly accept the employer's offer.

289 letters were issued of which 94 were returned. Of those voting, 69% wanted to reject the offer with 31% voting to accept. This did not persuade Cornerstone management to change its mind and increase the offer on the table. They wrote to the branch explaining their position and the need, for the job security of their employees, to hold to their original offer.

"We have to accept that whilst we have a respectable number of members in Cornerstone, these are patchy across the organisation," said Bob Revie, Branch Secretary, urging members in Cornerstone to set about recruiting others into membership. "With further challenges in the future, UNISON will be better placed to represent our members if the membership was higher," he added.

This situation has highlighted once again the impact on staff and the quality of service in the voluntary and community sector of how such services are funded by central and local government. UNISON Scotland has been central, via the STUC, to getting agreement between the voluntary sector and trade unions on a set of campaigning points to take to the Scottish Government and CoSLA.

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