Showing posts from January, 2016

Thanks For All The Fish

I was not surprised to read this interview in The Herald in which the outgoing chief executive of COSLA, Rory Mair, failed to say a single word about equal pay, one of the major issues facing Scottish local government during Rory's time in office.  COSLA is the self-styled 'voice' of local government, but sadly the Convention rather lost its voice and had little to say about the council employers in Scotland failing to stand up for their lowest paid staff over the 1999 Single Status Agreement. A landmark equal pay agreement which promised to sweep away years of pay discrimination and deliver a new deal for a largely female council workforce - carers, cleaners, catering staff, clerical workers and classrooms assistants. Yet is failed to happen under Rory's watch and during that period COSLA's stock has, arguably, fallen to an all-time low which may be coincidence, though then again maybe not.

Save Money, Shut COSLA (28/01/12)

I've just had a brainwave on the subject of 'pain free' cuts. Why doesn't Scottish local government do the hard pressed council tax payer a favour - and save money by shutting down COSLA in its present form at least. The self-styled voice of Scotland's 32 local councils - is a total irrelevance these days. What with a five year council tax freeze - what is COSLA's purpose and role - because no one seems to be taking its leadership seriously.  No pay bargaining taking place for quite some time - and that's likely to be the case for the foreseeable future. So what does everyone at COSLA do with their time - other than talk a great fight about  COSLA's role in a mythical partnership with the Scottish Government? I imagine lots of people go to lots of meetings - but do these meetings produce anything besides vast quantities of hot air. What it all costs is shrouded in mystery - but the big question is - 'How can it po

Ashtrays and Motorbikes (02/14)

The rebellion amongst local councils in Scotland appears to be gathering steam as yet another, this time Labour-run Renfrewshire, threatens to quit COSLA - according to this report on the BBC web site. Now you can take your pick as to how you see COSLA: as the self-styled voice of Scottish local government or as a useless talking shop. I happen to favour the latter because I thought that COSLA was about as much use as an 'ashtray on a motorbike' - when it came to doing the right thing over equal pay. And I have to say that I disagree with the comments of my old colleague from Unison, Dave Watson, who suggests that the problems about implementing with the 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement were all to do with local pay determination. Now this is not quite correct because the 1999 Agreement was a national agreement - not a local one - and although it allowed for councils to decide certain issues at local level this had to be done within a nationally ag