Union demands new Glasgow council leaders increase pay for workers - or risk strikes

A union has demanded that the next Glasgow council leaders increase pay for workers - or risk facing strikes this summer.

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Trade union Unite confirmed that it is in the process of targeting selected groups of workers employed in all thirty-two Scottish authorities with a view to balloting its members in schools, home care and cleansing as early as June.

The SNP won the most seats in last week’s local election, one more than Labour, but neither party reached a majority and a council administration has yet to be decided.

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Unite also accused COSLA leaders - the organisation which represents councils across Scotland, including Glasgow - who recently voted against making a further pay offer, of having ‘zero backbone’ in standing up for local government workers and demanding more financial support from the Scottish Government.

Along with the local government trade unions, Unite has now written to COSLA expressing its anger at this disregard for the workforce amid the deepening cost of living crisis.

The next Glasgow council administration has yet to be decided.

In March, Unite along with other local government trade unions, rejected outright a two per cent pay offer from COSLA as falling far short of both the trade union claim and the current rate of inflation.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members across local government in Scotland have had enough of year on year pay freezes and cuts, which is why we are getting battle-ready to deliver the pay rise they deserve.

“It’s a sorry indictment of both COSLA and the Scottish Government that our members are preparing to vote on strike action but from the Shetland Islands to the Borders, Unite’s members have their union’s full backing in their fight for decent pay.”

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer said: “The first thing in the in-tray for the new council leaders is Unite’s warning that unless there is a change of attitude then we will ballot thousands of our members on industrial action.

“We know COSLA Leaders voted against making any further pay offer and they are treating our members with utter contempt. COSLA has proven themselves to possess zero backbone when it comes to standing up against the Scottish Government and demanding that services and workers get the support they deserve.”