Union urges local government members to reject 5% pay offer

Council workers across Scotland have been offered a 5% pay increase from this April with an additional increase from January 2024.

Unison urges local government members to reject 5 per cent pay offer from Cosla PA Media

A union representing local government workers in Scotland has urged its members to reject the latest pay offer from COSLA.

Council workers across Scotland have been offered a 5% pay increase for all workers from this April with an additional increase from January 1, 2024.

Unison will launch a consultative ballot in the next few days, urging members across local government to reject the offer.

Johanna Baxter, head of local government in Scotland for the union, said: “We will consult our local government members with a recommendation that they reject this offer.”

Ms Baxter said the offer “falls short” of the rate of inflation and is less than others in the public sector have been offered.

Last month, teachers in the EIS and the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association voted to accept a 7% pay rise backdated to April 2022, a further 5% next month, and another 2% in January.

Ms Baxter added: “Whilst the offer contains warm words about reaching a minimum underpinning rate of pay of £15 per hour it contains no detail at all on when or how this would be delivered.

“Local Government cannot continue to be the poor relations of the public sector with councils continuously facing unpalatable choices between decent pay and jobs.

“Last year, the Scottish Government agreed they had a role to play in this, given they are the biggest funder of local government.

“We urge COSLA and the Scottish Government to get round the table to discuss this as a matter of urgency.”

COSLA said the offer is “strong” and recognises the “vital role” of local government workers.

Katie Hagmann, resources spokesperson for COSL, said: “Following a series of extremely proactive discussions with our SJC trade union partners over the past two weeks, and following a special meeting of council leaders on Friday, I am delighted that we have been able to put an offer to our SJC trade union colleagues this afternoon.

“It is an offer which recognises the vital role of the people who deliver essential services across councils every day and the value that we as employers place on them.

“I hope that SJC union colleagues will view this as a strong offer which balances the ask of their claim with the need to protect the long-term viability and sustainability of Scottish local government and is one that they can take to their membership for consideration.”