ENJOYLEISURE staff could move towards strike action unless a pay dispute is resolved.

Public services union UNISON has requested that enjoyleisure, which provide leisure facilities throughout East Lothian, gives its lowest paid staff the Scottish Living Wage of £9.90 per hour.

So far, enjoyleisure bosses have refused and staff continue to receive the national minimum wage of £9.50 per hour, says the union.

East Lothian Council, says UNISON, was asked to intervene using its Fair Work procurement powers so that enjoyleisure staff could at least get the Scottish Living Wage – the minimum rate paid to directly employed council workers.

UNISON is now seeking urgent action from newly-elected East Lothian Council members to address this "inequality".

Deborah Clarke, UNISON regional organiser, said: “It’s appalling that staff have to fight for the Scottish Living Wage.

“The senior management team restructured increasing their pay pot by 13 per cent leaving five senior staff sharing a pot of £350,000 per year, yet low paid staff have to fight for a £9.90 per hour.

“No employee should be paid less than the minimum rate necessary for workers and their families to avoid struggling to meet their most basic needs.

“Enjoyleisure must support their hardworking staff through the cost-of-living crisis, helping them to pay energy bills and put food on the table, not awarding themselves giant pay hikes.

“We are approaching newly-elected councillors to intervene, I am confident they will support us.

“We will take further steps towards strike action – unless we can come to some agreement.”

UNISON has balloted its members on this and a pay offer of three per cent, which it says equates to a pay cut as staff have not had a pay rise since 2018, and staff have voted to firmly reject the offer.

UNISON says it will now be moving toward industrial action if an improved offer is not forthcoming.

UNISON has also outlined to enjoyleisure that staff have a range of other issues with their employers.

The union told the Courier that: enjoyleisure staff breaks were unpaid but staff were told they could not leave their building; staff have problems taking annual leave; and "there is a culture of poor behaviour from senior management and staff do not feel able to raise issues in the workplace".

A charitable leisure trust, enjoyleisure provides and develops sport, leisure and recreational facilities and services in East Lothian on behalf of East Lothian Council.

enjoyleisure has been approached for a comment.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: "East Lothian Council is aware of the concerns raised by UNISON and is continuing to engage in constructive and ongoing partnership dialogue with enjoy to discuss the financial environment and ongoing financial sustainability of the organisation. 

"It is important to recognise though that enjoyleisure is a separate organisation to East Lothian Council and any pay agreement for enjoy staff does not fall under Local Government national negotiations and remains the responsibility for enjoy to consider.”