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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Union warns of widespread strikes across Scottish third sector

 

UNISON said that successful ballots for action at charities are just the “tip of the iceberg”.

A wave of strikes among Scottish charities could be on the horizon if the third sector is not properly funded, Scotland’s largest trade union has warned. 

UNISON Scotland has written to the Scottish government calling for an urgent funding injection for the third sector to allow workers to receive pay increases equal to their counterparts in local government.

The union says workers in the third sector support some of the most vulnerable people in communities, yet many are on very low rates of pay.

Strike ballots have been taking place across the country and this week UNISON announced the consultative ballot results of two third sector organisations – Capability Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid. 

In both cases UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The warning comes after another trade union, Unite, announced strike ballots at Shelter and widespread action in both the public and private sector has been seen across Britain. 

UNISON says this is just the “tip of the iceberg” and warned more organisations will follow.

The union’s regional manager for Scotland, Peter Hunter, said: “The sector is in crisis with staff leaving in droves in search of employment with better pay and working conditions. There are also thousands of people awaiting the care they deserve who continue to suffer as the workforce diminishes.

“Many third sector organisations, like Capability Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid, are reliant on the limited funds local authorities allocate to fund care in their areas – funding which has long been inadequate.

“This means third sector workers find themselves in a tussle between their employer, local councils and the Scottish government.” 

The union is calling on third sector employers to join their campaign in calling on the Scottish government for fair funding for the sector.

Mr Hunter added: “These workers deserve better and, at the very least, the same pay as their counterparts in local government.

“These ballot results are just the tip of the iceberg and a wave of strikes could follow unless the Scottish government deliver fair work and funding to the third sector as a matter of urgency.”

The Scottish Government told the Scottish Daily Express: “The Scottish Government has received a letter from Unison and will respond in due course.

"We recognise the challenges faced by the third sector in the current cost-of-living crisis and we continue to support these organisations to deliver their important work.

"We have committed to increase multi-year funding for the third sector and where possible we will do so.”

 

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