Unite ballots members at Scottish Borders Council

Unite the union has today (28 May) confirmed that its membership in the roads department at Scottish Borders council (SBC) are to be balloted for industrial action from the 4 of June and closing on 25 June. The ballot comes in response to a series of detrimental changes being imposed by SBC to terms and conditions which includes a reduction in pension accrual as a result of cuts to pensionable overtime rates, and the removal of paid travel time. If the ballot is successful, then strike action is expected to take place from mid-July 2019 to mid-October 2019 in addition to a possible overtime ban and call-out ban during the same period.

Unite has strongly criticised SBC on there being no meaningful consultation or negotiation prior to the announcement on these imposed changes on the 15 April. The changes came into effect on 1 May. Around 60 Unite members are to be impacted by the changes to long established contractual arrangements. In the event that these changes are not reversed then Unite will act to pursue claims for illegal deduction of wages.

Mark Lyon, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The imposition of detrimental changes to Unite members’ terms and conditions at Scottish Borders council will not go unopposed. The changes rip up all our long established contractual arrangements. If the council thinks that our members in the roads department are an easy target then it will have to think again because the strength of feeling is resolute. The council has a few weeks to get back round the negotiating table to undo the mess they have created or Unite members will be sending a loud and clear message to them very soon.”



National Hazards Conference 2019 26-28 July


Book now for the National Hazards 2019 conference, 26-28 July

The 2019 National Hazards Conference, billed as the UK’s “biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists”, will be held in Stoke-on-Trent from 26-28 July. The theme this year is ‘Cleaning up toxic work’ in increasingly insecure workplaces. Speakers include Amanda Hawes, a US lawyer who specialises in occupational and environmental health compensation cases, world-renowned chemical safety and occupational cancer expert professor Andrew Watterson of Stirling University, former TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson, BFAWU environment officer Sarah Woolley, Unite member and TGI Fridays activist Claire Trevor and GMB health and safety director Dan Shears.

Ÿ  Hazards Campaign conference, 26-28 July 2019, Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent. Hazards 2019 programme and booking form.


Scottish Hazards


Email: info@scottishhazards.org

For information, advice and support

0800 0015 022

Follow us on Facebook


and Twitter


For donations

Tel: 0131 477 0817

Scottish Hazards (SC044785) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Association registered with and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.


Hazards Campaign


For more information  contact  your Unite reps


If you are not yet a member of Unite can you afford not to to be?

You can join  Unite the Union online : https://join.unitetheunion.org/

Or contact one of the Unite reps  (Details below)

West Lothian Council  Local Unite contacts 

Unite the Union Shop Stewards/ Workplace Reps

Whitehill Service Centre

Senior Steward: Pat Tedford

Mobile:   07787 102 636  E mail pat.tedford@unitetheunion.org

Davy Johnstone

Davy Dowds

Donald Smail


Andy Dowds

Robert Lee

Kirkton Service Centre


Unite the Union Workplace Reps

Rab Brown  Unite Convenor: Email  robert.brown@westlothian.gov.uk

Tam Brown Unite Rep: Email: tam.brown@unitewlc.org

Jade Deans Unite Rep: Email:jaderooney91@hotmail.com

Ryan Morcombe: Email  ryan.morcombe@unitewlc.org

Frank O Neil : Email  foneil@hotmail.com



Tax refunds for the construction sector





You may be able to claim for…

  • Driving your own vehicle to work
  • Taking public transport to work
  • Washing your work uniform
  • Buying your own lunch
  • Having been made redundant
  • Having left a job in the last 4 years


Construction workers should not
be left in the dark about tax returns
CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) tax returns are
a fact of life for a lot of people in the building trade.
A mistake when filing a CIS tax return online can
mean paying far too much tax on your pay. That’s
why RIFT has a specialist team of experts to offer
CIS tax return help to Unite members.

Do I pay tax if I’m CIS?
Yes, you will pay tax “at source” (your tax is taken
off your wages before you get them), most likely at
the rate of 20 per cent of your income. However, this
doesn’t mean you are “employed”. You could still be
officially self-employed under CIS. The big
difference is that this means you’ll still have to do a
self-assessment tax return each year.

Not filing in
those tax returns each year brings three very
serious problems your way:
1,You’re not getting your tax-free Personal
2.You’re not getting any of the tax relief you’re
entitled to for your work expenses

3.HMRC’s going to come after you for failure to file
your tax return.
If you’re getting CIS statements and don’t
understand why, get in touch with RIFT straight

We can explain the system, make sure you
aren’t paying too much tax and keep you out of
trouble with HMRC.
Q/Do I have to pay my tax when I file my
self-assessment return?
A/No. As long as you get both done by the 31 January,
you’re in the clear. You’re almost always better off
getting your self-assessment paperwork in early
though. A lot of people wait until the last minute
before filing their returns. That puts massive stress
on HMRC, causing delays and overloaded helplines.

Q/What happens if I miss the 31 January

A/Leaving the taxman waiting is a very bad idea. The
trouble starts with a flat £100 fine for filing up to
three months late. Missing the payment deadline by
30 days costs you 5 per cent of the tax you owe.
After three months without filing a return, you’ll be
looking at £10 daily penalties totalling up to £900 –
and that’s not even the end of it. The penalties keep
stacking up, and your situation keeps getting worse.

Q/What do I do if I’ve already got fines?
A/ If you’ve got a genuine reason for missing a deadline,
the taxman might be prepared to lower or cancel your
penalties. Talk it through with RIFT. We’ve got a good
relationship with HMRC, and can often limit the
damage even if you’re already in trouble. Let us know
if you’re going to have problems paying your tax too.
We can often work out payment plans to keep you out
of danger.


RIFT are the UK’s leading tax experts for selfassessment and tax refunds. Call 01233 653974 or visit
RIFTrefunds.co.uk/Unite  for expert guidance, advice
and practical help. Quote your Unite membership
number to get your discounted CIS tax return fee.


Talk to RIFT about your tax refund today.


Scottish rep is Eric Mackenzie  E Mail  emackenzie@RIFTgroup.com

Mobile 07931 867 677

Facebook : facebook.com/RIFTrefunds

Twitter : @RIFTtaxreturns

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Employee Benefits



Above is a link to Wlc benefits site. This offers discounts to council employees for many different products or services. Take a look, you may save yourself some money.

Unite Campaigns in West Lothian Council

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Unite is campaigning to win for workers within West Lothian Council on the following issues where Unite members are actively campaigning to protect and improve their terms & conditions at work and improve their daily work experience within the council.

  • Lobbying the council to adopt the Unite construction charter http://www.unitescotlandconstruction.net/construction-charter.html
  • Increased  welfare facilities at the Kirkton service center
  • Increased reward for extra duties and advanced skills and  skills progression
  • Training and development for all workers
  • Improved  facilities for Unite representatives to enable them to improve facilities which will result in improved representation for Unite members
  • Access to  Unite based  training  and  a Unite learning agreement
  • Improved access and quality of P.P.E.

Your Union Unite will not be able to win on any issues without the support and  commitment of the membership to act and work  collectively to win in the workplace


Unite Organising to win in West Lothian Council

If you wish to get involved with Unite campaigning in West Lothian Council  please contact your Unite local reps

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!



Not yet a member of Unite Join online today


or contact your Unite shop steward/workplace rep

If you are not yet a member of Unite can you afford not to to be?

You can join  Unite the Union online: https://join.unitetheunion.org/

Or contact one of the Unite reps  (Details below)

West Lothian Council  Local Unite contacts 

Unite the Union Shop Stewards/ Workplace Reps

Whitehill Service Centre

Senior Steward: Pat Tedford

Mobile:   07787 102 636  E mail pat.tedford@unitetheunion.org

Davy Johnstone

Davy Dowds

Andy Dowds

Donald Smail

Robert Lee

Kirkton Service Centre

Unite Convenor: Rab Brown

Tam Brown

Frank O Neil

Jade Deans

Ryan Morcombe