Unite the union has vowed to continue the fight for Scotland’s lowest paid local authority workers following the agreement reached between the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and trade unions on pay. Unite members had voted to reject the pay offer by 55% .
COSLA has expressed its delight at securing a pay deal across the unions.
Councillor Gail Macgregor, COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson said:
“I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have a deal with the SJC Trade Unions.
“I am very pleased that the SJC have seen what a great deal this is and have now formally accepted the three year pay offer which we as Employers worked so hard to put on the table.
“Today’s acceptance is a result of the determination on both sides to reach an agreement. And I am absolutely delighted with today’s backing from the Trade Union Side.”
Unite has reiterated its calls for COSLA to consider a ‘trigger clause’ which would allow for the re-opening of the three year pay order if, as predicted, Brexit causes inflation to rise, and for low pay bands to be revisited at the end of the three year period.
The union remains disappointed that the pay order also fails to restore local authority workers to the levels of real terms pay from ten years ago.
Wendy Dunsmore, Unite regional industrial officer, said:
“Unite will continue to fight for pay justice for the lowest paid workers across Scotland’s local authorities.
“The reality is that those at the top of the pay scale will receive awards of up to £4,500 a year more. This is the equivalent to around a third of the annual take home pay for the lowest paid workers.
“COSLA must look again at low pay grade bands, and re-consider our position that a trigger-clause be introduced as inflation is predicted to rise in the context of Brexit. Otherwise, local authorities workers will be locked into low pay for several years with no recourse.
“Unite will continue to campaign to ensure the lowest paid workers in Scotland get pay justice.