Council workers in Scotland move towards industrial action

Members of the Unite union have overwhelmingly rejected a 3 percent pay offer from COSLA.

Unite has announced that a ballot of members in Scottish local government has returned an overwhelming rejection of a "derisory" 3 percent pay increase, and are now moving towards a legal ballot for industrial action.

In total 73 percent of Unite members voted to reject the offer, with 88 percent of those indicating support for industrial action.

Ann Farrell, chair of Unite Scotland’s local authority committee, said: “Unite members have emphatically rejected the revised pay offer. This outcome was inevitable in light of COSLA’s failure to properly and fairly reward the lowest paid workers in local government.

“The reality for thousands of Unite members was a comparatively worse position as a result of this offer, which is completely unacceptable. Unite will now move towards a legal ballot following the mandate we have received from our membership, whereby we will be urging all Unite members to vote for industrial action”.

Unison, which represents 80,000 members in Scottish local government, and GMB are currently balloting their members, and also recommend rejection.

Unison’s Johanna Baxter said: “Our local services are delivered by one team and if Cosla and the Scottish Government really value the contribution all their staff make they must ensure that everyone who works in local government gets a fair and decent pay rise.”

COSLA resources spokeswoman, Gail Macgregor, said she was "deeply disappointed" that unions were urging members to reject the offer.

“As I have said many times to the unions - £350 million is a massive investment in our workforce." she added.

“We asked the trade unions to take a realistic approach and accept our offer and then work together for a fairer local government settlement from the Scottish Government – but obviously this is not something that they are willing to do.”


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