City Council staff deserve a fair pay deal for all - Tom Connolly

Tom Connolly is UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch SecretaryTom Connolly is UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch Secretary
Tom Connolly is UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch Secretary
If the City of Edinburgh is to thrive and evolve, its vibrant communities will absolutely rely on the dedication and tireless efforts of countless local government workers.

These public sector champions, who work to ensure our city functions seamlessly, have a simple but essential demand: fair pay for the invaluable work they do.

UNISON City of Edinburgh recently conducted a ballot among its members, and the results were a resounding call for change. In a turnout that exceeded the anti-union threshold set by current regulations which requires at least 50 per cent of members to participate by postal vote, a staggering 94.13 per cent of UNISON Edinburgh members in Schools and Early Years who participated voted in favour of strike action, with a robust turnout of 62.24 per cent. These numbers speak volumes, echoing the unity and determination of our local government workforce to seek better conditions and fair pay.

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To put this in perspective, let's consider the electoral turnouts of some of our prominent leaders. The Leader of the Council, Cammy Day, was elected with a 43 per cent ward turnout, while the Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf, secured his Glasgow Pollok constituency with a 54.1 per cent turnout. UNISON City of Edinburgh branch was the sole council trade union to surpass the required ballot threshold, underscoring the unwavering commitment of our workforce.

Beyond the numbers and statistics lies a deeper message that demands our attention. The members of UNISON do not take the prospect of industrial action lightly or with any party political motive. Our goal is simple yet profound: addressing the pressing cost-of-living crisis that has affected those who keeping our public services running. UNISON members are asking for equitable treatment and fair compensation for their invaluable contributions to our city.

Edinburgh's school staff are now poised to take a stand, not just for themselves, but for all local government workers who strive tirelessly to uphold the quality of services our city depends on. They implore our elected councillors to join their campaign and use their influence to urge the Scottish Government to allocate more funding for local government. This is not just about financial compensation; it's about respect for the backbone of our city—the dedicated workforce.

As we move forward, UNISON seeks the support and solidarity of the wider community. Their members are prepared to take strike action and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to secure fair pay for all. It is hoped that the public will stand by their side, advocating for the betterment of our workforce and the enhancement of services provided to our citizens.

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If you believe in the principles of fairness, equality, and ensuring a dignified standard of living, it's time to lend your voice to this cause. The call is not just for policymakers and union members; it's for every citizen who values the contributions of these dedicated workers. Let us stand united in ensuring that the hardworking individuals who shape our city's present and future are duly recognised and rewarded.

Our local government workers are worth more, and it's time to heed their call.

Pay up for council staff.

Tom Connolly is UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch Secretary

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