A new deal has been offered to striking staff in primary schools and nurseries after the intial offer of a 5% pay increase was rejected. This means that the school strikes next week have been suspended while the offer has been taken to members for consultation.
The mid-week strike meant that all nurseries, primaries, and assisted support for learning (ASL) schools would have been closed from Tuesday to Thursday (6 September - September).
Local authority group, COSLA, has been in talks with the striking workers, and have worked out a new deal - meaning a bigger pay rise could be granted.
COSLA backed the flat rate increase of over £1,900 for all workers earning less than £39,000 a year (based on a 36-hour working week), which has been offered to the striking staff.
UNISON Scotland, GMB Scotland, and Unite have examined the new deal and have now turned it over to their members.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Keir Greenaway said: “GMB has been very clear that more must be done for the lowest paid in local government and this latest offer delivers a significant amount of consolidated money for these workers, including the frontline refuse and schools’ staff that everyone depends on.
“It’s not a perfect offer but it is the view of GMB Scotland’s local government committee that it’s worthy of members consultation and their acceptance, but ultimately our members whose campaigning and strike actions have improved these terms will have the final say.
“In the meantime, we have agreed to suspend all planned strike action so this consultation process can take place and our GMB organisers and workplace reps will be visiting as many workplaces as possible to engage our members on this.
“Most importantly, we want to pay tribute to our members. Strike action is not easy, it requires sacrifice and solidarity to deliver outcomes that make work better, and they have fought long and hard for an improved offer to help confront this cost-of-living crisis.”
This news follows an over ten hour summit meeting chaired by Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday following on from the bin strikes in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
It is unclear if the offer will be accepted by the striking Glasgow City Council staff but it is hoped by COSLA that next week’s strikes will spell an end to the industrial strike action that would have closed schools and littered the streets of Glasgow.
SNP COSLA group leader Dougie Reid said: “I am delighted that we have managed to reach a fair pay deal that all COSLA parties have agreed - our council employees deserve to have their hard work properly valued.
“The deal brokered and proposed by the SNP focuses particularly on the needs and interests of our lower paid employees.“Given the financial challenges facing budgets in Scotland, I am grateful for the way the Scottish Government and COSLA have stepped up so that the funding and flexibilities needed have been provided.
“It’s not been easy but we have managed to find a package that I hope the unions can now recommend to their members - and we can get money into people’s bank accounts at the earliest opportunity to help meet the increasing cost of living.”