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Council Workers Seek Urgent Meeting With First Minister & COSLA over Pay

Trade unions representing Local Authority workers have warned the Scottish Government that they must improve the pay offer.

According to COSLA, the organisation which represents Scotland’s Local Authorities, the pay offer ‘value in year is 5.5%, the average uplift on salaries going into the next financial year is 7%.  Those on the Scottish Local Government Living Wage would get 9.12% and those at higher grades, where Councils are experiencing severe recruitment challenges, would see 6.05%.’

The unions are also angry that they believe  COSLA Leaders voted down a motion put forward by the Labour group, at their recent meeting calling on the organisation to approach the Scottish government for additional funding to improve the pay offer.

Unite says that 5,000 of its members have rejected the 5% pay offer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: 

“The Scottish Government and COSLA need to improve upon the current pay offer or there will be trouble ahead. A 5% pay offer when the broader cost of living index is now above 13% is a punishing real terms pay cut . That’s unacceptable.

“Our members are determined to secure fair pay and they have their union’s full support in this fight for better jobs, pay and conditions in local government.”

The unions are calling on the First Minister, Humza Yousaf to get involved.

UNISON Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said:

 “That COSLA leaders have, inexplicably, chosen not to approach the Scottish government for additional funding to improve the pay offer for council workers will astonish our members. This is despite unions asking them time and again to do so.

“At the same time we are being told that the continued financial constraints facing local authorities mean that any additional money directed towards pay will have a direct impact on staff numbers and the ability to maintain essential services.

“Whilst COSLA sit on their hands they, and the Scottish government, are sleep walking towards a second year of industrial action. Earlier this year former Deputy First Minister, John Swinney said he was open to discussion with COSLA and unions and recognised the Scottish government has a role to play. No-one wants to see rubbish piling up on the streets again and schools threatening to close.”

The unions, Unison, UNITE and GMB, working collectively, have sent two letters highlighting their demands and concerns: A letter to the First Minister, and a letter to COSLA

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