Aberdeenshire UNISON

Update 11th June 2012
Members accept 1%

Cornerstone members have voted in a consultative ballot to accept a 1% pay increase.

Update 11th June 2012
1% on the table - Vote now

The branch is consulting with Cornerstone members on a "final offer" from Management of a 1% pay rise, and has issued a consultative ballot paper to all members in Cornerstone, with a closing date of 18th June.

Please vote now and have your say

On 24 May 2012, following consultation with members on the claim lodged by UNISON and the 1% offer announced by Cornerstone's Chief Executive in her April Update, UNISON Stewards and Branch Representatives met Cornerstone management to discuss pay.

Norman Smith, Convenor said, "At the meeting with Cornerstone management, following extensive discussions, the company made it clear that their final offer was 1% together with a commitment to pay point one of the Support Assistant grade at the Scottish Living Wage level (currently 7.20) and their recent increase in mileage to 45p.

"Management have expressed their disappointment that they could do no more but within the current economic climate they felt they had few options available to them."

He added, "UNISON has reserved its position on the offer until we get a view from members and we have assured the company that we will conduct this part of the pay consultation as soon as possible."

Tony Brennan, Steward said, "Despite UNISON's concern that staff have now gone a number of years without a pay award, the fact that an offer has been made is in itself welcome albeit that it falls well short of our pay claim.

"It is also clear that this represents the company's final offer and the best we can achieve by negotiation alone. To progress our original claim would need to be backed up by industrial action and that is why this consultation offers members the option of accepting the offer or taking part in some form of industrial action up to and including strike action."

The branch has made it clear to members that if they choose to reject the offer, it will be necessary to formally ballot members. In this event stewards and branch officers would draw up a series of options in consultation with union officials and put these to members in a postal ballot.


Update 2 May 2012
Cornerstone rejects UNISON's pay claim and offers 1%

In the recent consultation with members about the current pay claim, the majority of respondents (63%) were in favour of keeping to the UNISON submitted pay claim of £600 flat rate and a 5% increase on additional payments such as sleepovers and on-call.

However at the recent negotiating meeting, Cornerstone rejected UNISON's claim and advised stewards that the maximum pay award on offer is 1%. The Branch will now be consulting with members as to whether they wish to accept this offer or not.


Update May 2012
Cornerstone Stewards urge members to give their views on the 2012 pay claim

UNISON stewards in Cornerstone have sent out a consultation letter to all members across the country asking for feedback on the offer of a 1% pay rise put forward by Cornerstone's chief executive in her April 2012 update.UNISON has already put forward a pay claim asking for 600 across the board and a 5% increase on additional payments such as sleepovers and on-call.

Click here to see the letter.

Tony Brennan, Steward said, "A 1% pay raise will not come close to 600 for any member in the lower or middle scales of the pay structure. Our members, for all intent and purposes have not had a pay rise for at least 3 years whilst at the same time have seen their costs of living rise dramatically."

"We are fully aware of the difficulties facing voluntary care providers with the cuts in council budgets across the country, but we also appreciate the financial difficulties members are facing and hope Cornerstone will be able to reconsider their position and respond with a better offer.

He urged members to respond to the consultation "So far we have had a good response but the more comments and feedback we get from members the better informed we are on the general feeling of this offer."


The options
Stewards will meet again with management on 24th May. They have asked for members views on the following options:

1. Accept the 1% pay award

2. 600 across the board, plus 5% on additional payments (Current pay claim) - which costs more than is currently on offer

3. 200 across the board (this equates roughly with what is on offer but is evenly spread across the organization, giving those on the lowest pay a "better" percentage increase.

4. 200 across the board, plus a percentage on additional payments (to be further discussed by the stewards). Again costs more than is currently on offer.

5. 400 across the board, plus a percentage on additional payments. Costs more than is currently on offer.

6. 400 across the board. Costs more than is currently on offer.

7. Other - please specify what you wish below


The offer
The chief executive, in her April update said, "A 1% pay award has been built into the budgets this year and alongside our commitment to pay point one of our Support Assistant grade at the Scottish Living Wage level and our recent increase in mileage to 45p, we hope those decisions demonstrate in some small way our commitment to our employees. Both I and the Board wish we could do more but within the current economic climate we have few options available to us. Cornerstone continues to benchmark our terms and conditions of employment with other comparable organisations and we are proud of the fact that we continue to pay higher salaries to our Support Assistants and Support Workers than the vast majority of our competitors. Any pay award is subject to negotiation with UNISON but we hope to be able to communicate a final decision to you after the August Board meeting."