Following 40 weeks of negotiations with council management and a ballot put out to members. UNISON Midlothian branch members have opted to accept council proposals which will see changes to terms and conditions of employment.
73% of UNISON members opted to accept council proposals, with 27% rejecting.
The other recognised trade unions at Midlothian Council, Unite and UCATT, also returned ballots in favour of the proposals:
Unite: 57% (158) for acceptance 43% (119) for rejection
UCATT: 55% (6) for acceptance 45% (5) for rejection
This means that the changes to terms and conditions of employment will now be implemented through a collective agreement. The changes to pay and terms and conditions will take effect on 1 October 2016.
Andrew McDonald, Branch Secretary said: “As the biggest and most influential union in Midlothian Council, UNISON Midlothian Branch will continue to look out for our members best interests.
“In the coming months the branch will be working hard to build on these changes to employment conditions.
“We are determined to strengthen our negotiating power in order to deliver better working conditions for our members. A strong activist network is key in giving the branch a platform to achieve this,” added Mr McDonald.
The changes to take us forward are:
1. Grades 1-4, there will be a basic pay increase to everyone.
2. Public Holidays – The employer is replacing 5 public holidays with 6 days of annual leave. The remaining public holidays would then be 2 days at Christmas and 2 days at New Year;
3. Additional non financial benefits – employee discount reward scheme for many of the high street stores including supermarkets and travel;
4. Improved discounts on Council sponsored activities i.e. Leisure Centre’s;
5. Part time employees – If you work regular overtime, you will be asked if you want to increase your hours on a permanent basis to make it part of your contract of employment;
6. Overtime premiums will be paid from the 41st hour onwards at time and a quarter. Standby will be increased from £80 to £140 per week or £20 per 24 hours;
7. Working during the day on Saturday’s and Sunday’s will be paid at plain time;
8. Night working will be paid at time and one fifth, between 10.00pm and 6.00am;
9. Three year pay protection to all who will lose money due to the proposed changes to Contractual Terms and Conditions;
10. Further commitment to address any employees who might remain in detriment will be ongoing over the next 3 years;
11. Midlothian Council will support Lifelong Learning with the trade unions in which we can encourage learning in order to help grow and secure positive destinations.