Local pay offer 2018-19 and voluntary recognition

This is relevant for HAY, SMG4 and AfC members

Members will recall that WSCC previously consulted in August 2018 on:

  • A 1% pay award;
  • Linking future pay awards to appraisal score;
  • Linking incremental progression to appraisal score;
  • Staff to sign letters of variation to their contract to derecognise UNISON.

This led to a detailed response from UNISON via two consultation response papers. Even at the end of that extended consultation process, when members were finally written to by their employer it was not clear what the council’s position was going forward.

WSCC’s corporate ‘One Voice’ newsletter (31st January 2019) has now set out the council’s position with clarity:

  • Future pay awards will NOT be linked to appraisal score;
  • The pay award was doubled from 1% to 2%;
  • Incremental progression will be linked to appraisal score from 2020/21 (see separate article on this);
  • Staff were not asked to derecognise UNISON, and in fact there will now be an engagement with HAY, SMG4 and AfC staff about voluntary recognition of UNISON.

I hope you will agree this is a significant breakthrough to defend your terms and conditions. This was achievable because UNISON members did engage with the union so we could articulate and represent your views and interests.

Not only that, but huge numbers of new members joined us – taking our density within the local pay group from around 33% to around 50%.

This encouraged UNISON to lodge a request for voluntary recognition, so that in future WSCC would collectively bargain with UNISON on a range of matters, including the annual pay award, and not merely consult.

During February and March WSCC is likely to seek to test the opinion of the entire HAY/SMG4 and AfC group as to whether they wish to see their employer enter a voluntary recognition agreement with UNISON. They will not only ask UNISON members about this, but non-members too.

Please will members support UNISON by:

  • Responding positively to any request from the employer to ascertain your views on voluntary recognition of UNISON – we need a resounding ‘YES’!;
  • Encourage non-member colleagues to also respond positively – as collective bargaining impacts on the terms and conditions all staff work under, and not just UNISON members;
  • Encourage non-members to join UNISON. They still can!

To illustrate the impact UNISON has had in 2018-19 the chart below shows the 1% pay offer at each of the HAY spinal points, and compares the offer to the 2% final award. The increase in the pay award easily pays for UNISON subscriptions – and is a consolidated award – so you will receive its full value in all the future years you work for WSCC, and in your pension.

Not only has UNISON achieved this, but future pay awards will NOT be linked to appraisal outcomes.

UNISON membership is a sound investment by any measure. Please help us to recruit non-member colleagues to the union, and to deliver a ‘YES’ to voluntary recognition!

Membership forms and information is available here.

Feel free to share this news with colleagues who are not members, and also to invite the Branch secretary to a meeting of your colleagues in the HAY/SMG4/AfC pay groups to explain how UNISON works and the benefits of membership.

UNISON is still concerned about the linking of appraisal scores to incremental progression, though from consultation with you we do not believe this was the largest of the issues for our HAY/SMG4/AfC UNISON members. We are now seeking safeguards for UNISON members on incremental progression (see other article).