Our Annual General Meeting will be held in the Arts Centre, Dalkeith on Thursday 8 February 2018, there are two meeting times – 12.00noon for 12.30pm start and 4.00pm for 4.30pm start.  Please see paperwork attached.





Care Workers – Scottish Social Services Council Briefings (SSSC)


IMPORTANT – Scottish Social Services Council Briefings (SSSC)

We are holding briefings next week regarding the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and would strongly urge you to attend one of these.

If you are not directly registered with the SSSC you may know someone who is, or who is likely to be in the future, and we would appreciate your help in passing this information on.

The briefings are to discuss:  Who is the SSSC : Why you need to be registered : How you can contact them : When you need to contact them.

The briefing dates and times are as follows:

Wednesday 28 June 2017

1.30pm to 2.30pm – Mayfield Club

Our Vice Chair, Lorna, & Steward, Denise, will be at this along with one of our Organisers.

3.00pm to 4.00pm – Highbank/Staff Room

Our Vice Chair, Lorna will be at this along with one of our Organisers.

3.00pm to 4.00pm – Newbyres/room booked

Our Service Conditions Officer, Aileen will be at this along with one of our Organisers.

Thursday 29 June 2017

1.30pm to 2.30pm – Cowan Court/room booked

Our Service Conditions Officer, Aileen & Steward James, will be at this along with one of our Organisers.

3.30pm to 4.30pm – UNISON Midlothian office – Jarnac Court, Dalkeith

Our Service Conditions Officer’s, Lorna & Aileen, & Steward James will be at this along with one of our Organisers.

We look forward to seeing you next week.

Grace Chalmers

Branch Secretary







We will be attending UNISON Conference week commencing 19 June 2017, therefore, there will be limited availability for representation.  If you have an issue which cannot wait, then please contact us between 9.30am and 3.00pm, Monday to Thursday, on 0131 654 1129, or email us: office@unison-midlothian.org.uk.  If your enquiry can wait we would appreciate you giving us a call week commencing 26 June 2017.

We would appreciate your patience and understanding with these changes for next week.

Grace Chalmers

Branch Secretary


2017 Pay Update


Dear Member

Following one of the highest returns in a full membership consultation, UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to REJECT the Employers’ offer (77.6% of those voting).

On this basis a decision was taken to proceed to a full Industrial Action ballot. Members have sent a clear message to say they have had enough of years of below inflation pay rises.

Members of UNITE The Union and GMB have both accepted the Employers’ offer, however the number of UNISON members rejecting the offer exceeds the total combined Local Government membership of these trade unions .

UNISON will continue to fight for FAIR PAY, putting our members at the heart of the campaign.

The Tory Trade Union Act designed to make it more difficult for workers to exercise their right to withdraw their labour cannot succeed. It is important that every member participates in the ballot to maximise the ballot return.

Please note that, in order to comply with current legislation, the ballot will be a full postal ballot as the law prevents us from carrying out any ballot by digital means.

The ballot will run from 5th May 2017 until 30th May 2017.

UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee is recommending that members VOTE YES for a programme of Industrial Action.

You are encouraged, in advance of the local and general elections, to raise the need for FAIR PAY with all candidates.

Mark Ferguson Douglas Black

Chair, Scottish Local Government Committee Regional Organiser, SJC Secretary

SJC 2017SJC PAY 2017

UNISON Members to be Balloted for Industrial Action

– VOTING opens 5th May & closes 30th May –



No ballot paper? If you haven’t received your ballot paper by 12th May 2017 please call UNISON Direct on

08000 857 857

Helpline open until noon on Friday 26 May 2017

For further details please contact your local branch or visit


Pay offer : Vote to REJECT


Why you should reject the offer

Fair Pay LeafletWhat’s not fair?
Your pay is worth far less now than ten years ago after years of pay restraint and inflation. Local government workers are seeing their living standards squeezed as the prices of food, gas and electricity, travel, food and childcare continue to rise. But while inflation indexes show how costs are rising, the impact on individual households is often worse. This can not continue.

The employers have offered:
• Employees earning less than £35,000 a £350* increase (*pro rata based on 37 hours)
• Employees earning more than £35,000 a 1 per cent increase.
• Scottish Local Government Living Wage is the minimum pay for all pay and allowances including additional hours, contractual overtime and other allowances. It will be pensionable.

What is fair?
The employers’ offer falls far short of our claim. We asked for:
• A flat rate payment of £1,000 for all employees.
• The continued uprating of the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.
• A future pay strategy to identify and redress the imbalance caused by previous pay awards below the rate of inflation.

How do I vote?
UNISON recommends you vote to REJECT the offer. This is an online consultative ballot. You can vote securely at: unison.org.uk/lgscot17. UNISON will also email the link to all members we have an email address for.

Am I being asked to strike?
NO. This is a consultative ballot to seek your views on the employers’ final offer. This is a first step before a formal ballot is held.

Even though this is a consultative ballot, it is very important you vote. Due to the Government’s new Trade Union Act, it is now a requirement that 50% of members respond in a formal ballot before industrial action can be held. If this consultative ballot delivers a strong positive vote, we will then be in a position to move to a formal industrial action ballot.

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 – g.kelbie@unison.co.uk – 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.

Midlothian Council want to change your terms & conditions of employment


Midlothian Council wish to change your terms and conditions of employment. UNISON Midlothian branch have been in talks with management for 40 weeks and have got as far as we can by negotiation. UNISON believes our members should decide whether or not the proposed changes are acceptable. Midlothian flyer side 1-2

In the next few days members will receive a ballot paper which will ask you to either accept or reject the councils proposals. The mail out will include a pre-paid return envelope. 

The proposed changes to take us forward are:

1. Grades 1-4, there will be a basic pay increase to everyone please see enclosed chart;

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 Centres;

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 secure and positive destinations.

Branch Drop In Sessions:

The branch will be holding drop in sessions for any members who have questions about the Council proposed changes to terms and conditions of employment: 

  • Tuesday 14th June: 4pm – 6pm – 29 – 35, Jarnac Court, Dalkeith, EH22 1HU
  • Thursday 16th June: 2pm – 4pm – 29 – 35, Jarnac Court, Dalkeith, EH22 1HU

Please feel free to come along and speak to the branch about any concerns you may have.

Download our flyer: UNISON Midlothian Ballot Flyer (Why not print and share with your colleagues? – We are stronger together in UNISON)

See Me (end mental health discrimination)


Report from Jody Lochery, Health & Safety Officer, UNISON Midlothian, regarding See Me (end mental health discrimination).

UNISON Midlothian are committed to tackling Mental Health stigma in the workplace. Almost 50% of long-term absences from work are the result of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. People who have had a mental health problem and been out of work often worry about going back.  Common concerns include facing discrimination or bullying, and going back too soon and feeling unwell again.  According to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on mental health and work, “Many people with mental health problems fear that, no matter how good recovery they have made, their symptoms will be made worse by going back to work”.

UNISON Midlothian are looking to work in partnership with See Me and Midlothian Council to tackle Mental Health.

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.”

Helping Food Banks in Midlothian


In amongst the fun, fizz and burgers, if you’re going to the Mayfield Gala, you might want to spare a thought for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  We’re going to be at Mayfield Gala Day on Saturday 6 June 2015 to accept food donations for the Midlothian Food Bank.

You’ll find us inside the pavilion at the park.  We’ll be grateful for all donations but if you can, please give us the kind of foods that won’t go out of date or end up having to be thrown out.  Fruit juice cartons, rice, pasta, or tinned goods will be absolutely perfect, and thank you in advance for your help in supporting our local community.

Holiday Pay update 6.11.14


Since our earlier briefings on holiday pay claims, a number of employers have attempted to limit their liability for back pay by including additional money for holiday pay in workers’ pay, hence the recent tribunal…………

This triggers the time limit for claims with the effect that many claims may go out of time. Where this has been done by a large employer like a local authority, you will already have received advice from UNISON Midlothian.

If your pay now includes an element of additional pay, the time for bringing a claim will have started from the date on which you were last underpaid holiday pay. If there are more than three months since the last time holiday pay did not include additional sums, then you will be unable to pursue a claim.

The branch will be sending out a more detailed briefing very soon, but you should contact us now if you think you are running out of time because your employer has made additional payments for past underpaid holidays.





On 22 May 2014, UNISON member Joe Lock was successful in his claim, Lock v British Gas. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found that a workers 20 days statutory annual leave pay should include commission payments if these were part of normal pay.

The Employment Tribunal will decide how UK law will now be interpreted in light of this decision. It is likely that whatever decision is reached by the Employment Tribunal will be appealed through the higher courts, so it may be a long time before any payments are received.

If members are regularly paid payments for time or activities at work that are not paid when they take annual leave (e.g. commission payments, other supplements, bonuses or overtime payments) then there may be entitlement to increased holiday pay in future and back pay.

Branch Action

We have written to all the employers, where we have members, and asked what they intend to do in relation to unpaid holiday pay in respect of additional payments during working time. Midlothian Council have already responded that they are currently considering the matter and are in contact with colleagues in the Employer team at CoSLA, who are preparing advice for all Councils. We

are still waiting for responses from our other employers. On a national level UNISON is collating responses from employers and will then decide a strategy on how best to pursue claims.

What you need to do

If you think you may have a claim, contact the branch office. This will allow us to keep you up to date on your employers response and on UNISON’s claim strategy. You should ensure that you keep your contact details up to date. The easiest and quickest means of contact is through email. Don’t worry if you don’t have an email address as we will still write out to members if required.

You should contact the branch immediately

  • If your employer stops making the payments for commission, other supplements, bonuses or overtime pay.

  • Your employer starts paying any unpaid commission, other supplements, bonuses or overtime pay during annual leave.

Email: office@unison-midlothian.org.uk Tel: 0131 654 1129


AGM 2014


Unison Midlothian Logo




                                          5.00PM FOR 5.30PM 

                                          PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND


  1. Sederunt
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of Branch Annual General Meeting of 20 February 2013 and Matters Arising
  4. Branch Secretary’s Report
  5. Branch Financial Report
  6. Payment of Honorarium
  7. Election of Branch Officers
  8. Motions
  9. Any Other Competent Business

Please note that nominations for Branch Officers and Workplace Reps must be received by Andrew McDonald, Branch Secretary, 29-35 Jarnac Court, Dalkeith, EH22 1HU by no later than 3 February 2014.

Thank you