Scottish council staff back industrial action

Thousands of local government workers overwhelmingly rejected the employers’ 2% offer

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Thousands of council workers across Scotland have voted to take industrial action, UNISON announced yesterday. The decision comes after the the largest strike ballot among council workers in over a decade.

The action will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across the country.

UNISON members in all councils across Scotland overwhelmingly voted to reject the final offer of 2% from COSLA – the Scottish local government employers’ association – with nine local authority branches exceeding the required 50% turnout threshold required by the Trade Union Act.

UNISON head of local government in Scotland Johanna Baxter said: “COSLA leaders meet on Friday and must put an improved offer on the table if we are to avoid large-scale disruption to council services across Scotland.

“Council workers south of the border were offered a flat rate uplift of £1,925 [Monday], which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5% increase. You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly 2% increase when the cost of living continues to spiral.

“UNISON has been calling for a flat rate payment to help those on lower incomes. Most council workers earn less than £25k per year.”

Ms Baxter said that it was clear that local government workers have “had enough and are prepared to strike in the coming weeks unless we see a sensible offer on the table on Friday.

“This is the largest strike ballot by local government workers in over a decade and the first-time workers across Scotland have voted to take strike action in these numbers. It really shouldn’t take this for them to receive the recognition, respect and reward that they deserve.”