Council workers offered new pay rise as strikes loom

Council workers threatening industrial action have been offered a pay rise to £10.50 an hour by COSLA in line with the living wage criteria.

It comes as local government leaders across Scotland reaffirmed their commitment to make a pay offer larger than the initial 2% which was rejected by the trade unions.

GMB Scotland, which confirmed last week that cleansing workers in 16 local authorities would take industrial action this month and next, has called the latest offer a “dire response”.

Glasgow City Chambers - home of Glasgow City Council.

GMB Scotland, Senior Organiser for public services Keir Greenaway, said: “This is a dire response to the cost-of-living crisis facing our members. It will almost certainly lock-in more strikes but let’s also be clear that many frontline workers will fall into working poverty this winter unless this pay offer is significantly increased.

“The blame game between COSLA and the government will no doubt continue, but six months on from the overwhelming rejection of the initial pay offer, this is a damning indictment of how our council workers are valued by Scotland’s political leaders.”

The Scottish Government has said that offering a bigger wage increase to workers would impact public services and communities with council budgets unable to sustain the local term pressures they have been under.

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A virtual meeting of council leaders was also held today to try and resolve the ongoing pay dispute.

After the meeting COSLA Resources Spokesperson Cllr Katie Hagmann said: “Following the confirmation that the additional monies provided by the Scottish Government will be recurring, leaders have now mandated me today to move forward with our trade union partners on the basis of an offer that raises the Scottish Local Government Living Wage to £10.50.

“Leaders have reaffirmed their aspiration to make an offer greater than the initial 2% but note the risk that public services will not recover, jobs will be affected and communities will see services reduced as local government budgets are unable to sustain the long term pressures they have been under.

Leaders continue to call on Scottish Government to provide funding and flexibilities to enable an offer beyond the monies provided to date. As such we will be seeking to make an improved offer via the appropriate negotiating mechanisms as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council added: “Pay negotiations are handled nationally, by COSLA. The leader of the council has made it clear she believes the offer to workers needs to improve.”

An agreement with the trade unions is still to be reached.