As councillors, new and re-elected, get ready to start on making decisions which affect our local services, they are being reminded to improve pay for council workers.
Unite, the trade union 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 on taking industrial action, as early as June.
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.”
Unite has accused the leaders of COSLA (that’s the body that represents Scotland’s Local Authorities), 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.
In March, Unite along with other local government trade unions rejected outright a 2% pay offer from COSLA as falling far short of both the trade union claim and the current rate of inflation, which reflects the true cost of living including spiralling food and energy costs, it stands at a 30-year high of 9%.
It is estimated that more than half of Scotland’s 250,000 local authority workers are earning less than £25,000 a year for a 37-hour week.
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.
By a massive 91%, thousands of Unite local government workers in April confirmed that in response to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA) failure to put forward a fair and decent offer that they would be prepared to take industrial action.