Scottish Young Members Committee – Summer Newsletter 2016


Unison Midlothian Logo

Be heard. Be involved. Be active.

Download the latest newsletter from the Scottish Young Members Committee to find out what they have been up to. In the newsletter you will find all the contact details needed to get involved, as well as campaign news, training opportunities and updates on young member activity both in Scotland and across the UK.

Click here to download: YM Newsletter Summer 2016

In Scotland there are over 6500 young members in UNISON, but there are many more young workers without the protection of a union. If you are 27 or under and want to get involved with the young members committee, please contact Local Organiser, Greig Kelbie – – 07415 709746

UNISON - Giving Young Members a Voice!

UNISON – Giving Young Members a Voice!


Ballot Results – Review of Local Government Workers Pay and Grading


Unison Midlothian Logo

Be heard. Be involved. Be active.

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.

Denise Wilson


Name: Denise Wilson

Where do you work?: Bonnyrigg Health Centre as part of the Midlothian Enhanced Rapid Response Team, working with people coming out of hospital and people who need help with basic needs.

Role on Committee: Steward

Denise WIlson

Denise Wilson, steward, Midlothian Enhanced Rapid Response Team

What does that involve?: Representing the needs of members in my area.

How long have you been involved in unions?: I’ve been in the union for 7 and a half years.

Why did you join?: Concerns about change and wanting to protect members and the people we look after as well.

What do you get out of it?: I’m going for training and looking forward to trying to help members.

Jody Lochery


Name: Jody Lochery
Where do you work?:Stobhill
Role on Committee:Safety rep/ officer
What does that involve?: I assist colleagues with health and safety problems in the workplace.
How long have you been involved in unions?: Three years now. 
Why did you join?: One of the main reasons that I became a Safety Rep was to help and assist colleagues with

Jody Lochery, Health and Safety Rep

Jody Lochery, Health and Safety Rep

health and safety problems in the workplace. 
What do you get out of it?: I find this can be rewarding and sometimes challenging but I enjoy working in the role.
Why should other people join?: Health and Safety is very important in the workplace and it’s there to protect everyone.  Unison Midlothian also promote partnership working in Health and Safety.

Fine words and ideals no substitute for investment: UNISON inquiry into Scotland’s libraries


UNISON, the trade union for Scotland’s library staff, has published a report ‘Read It and Weep’, which outlines the experience of those working in Scotland’s libraries. It raises the concerns and difficulties of staff who are simultaneously being expected to expand services while being in the front line of cuts.

The report is based on qualitative research from UNISON members working across Scotland’s libraries. The frustration on the part of staff is clear. They are well aware that the services they provide are not as good as they could be and they highlight the impacts that cuts are making. Library services have been undergoing massive change in recent years yet staff numbers have been going down, buildings are closing and opening hours reduced

Gray Allan, UNISON Falkirk council branch spokesperson (and a librarian), said “There is no shortage of people willing to say libraries are a good thing. But what our libraries need isn’t just fine words and ideals but proper financing and investment. The Scottish Government has endorsed a national strategy for public libraries that talks of libraries being part of a shared civic ambition.

“There isn’t much point in giving every child in Scotland a library card if their local library is being closed or its hours have reduced so much it isn’t accessible.

” Staff are keen to see their service move forward but that isn’t happening.”

Dougie Harvey, Lifelong learning rep


Dougie Harvey, lifelong learning representative.

Dougie Harvey, lifelong learning rep

Name: Dougie Harvey

Where do you work?: Temporary area operations manager, Hillend and Danderhall

Role on Committee: Lifelong learning representative

What does that involve?: I look at bringing in or putting on courses for our members’ benefit. These might be courses or experiences that will help people get to where they want to go in their work or at home.

How long have you been involved in unions?  I became a shop steward about four years ago but I’ve been in the trade union since 1993.  My dad was an ex-miner and it was part of our lives.

Why did you join the union?  Being able to have a say in your workplace is really important and being part of the union is a way of getting some reassurance about your job and where you work.

What do you get out of it? I like to see people better themselves and upskill themselves just as I did.  I got to my current role through lifelong learning and want to be part of helping others do the same.  Sometimes the biggest barrier can be people not believing they can learn.  I get satisfaction from helping people get past that barrier and showing them there’s lots of resources around to help them learn if they just look up and see the help that’s on offer.

Why should other people get involved?  Unions help you get the opportunities you might need to go to places where you might think you could never go.