Unions to meet with authorities over pay offer as strike action continues

Strikes across 15 councils in Scotland are set to go ahead despite an improved pay offer for workers.

Cosla meeting with Unite on Tuesday as strike action continues STV News

Unions will meet with COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) on Tuesday as industrial action remains in place across 15 councils in Scotland despite an improved pay offer for staff.

Workers including refuse collectors, carers, school staff, social workers, and more are set to continue to strike despite a proposed 5% pay increase offer from government employers.

It comes as waste workers in Edinburgh continue a 12-day strike which has seen bins overflow across the city in the final weeks of the Festival Fringe.

Unite are now set to meet with COSLA for “clarity” over the improved pay offer, with the union seeking to ensure the inclusion of a flat rate award.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway said: “Our members want clarity from COSLA about whether this proposal comes with the assurance of a flat rate award, a key demand of the union pay claim.

“The prospect of the highest paid getting the biggest cash increases in any offer would be unacceptable, let alone one that is still well below inflation.

“Unions will now meet with COSLA officials tomorrow morning, but in the meantime all existing and planned strike action remains on.”

More than 100,000 council workers across Scotland represented by GMB are set to vote on the proposed 5% pay increase offer, with the ballot opening on Monday and closing on October 21.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes the new pay offer will end the “disruption” in Edinburgh.

She said: “We live in a really challenging time with inflation in double figures right now, which is why the Scottish Government is determined to deliver – as far as we can and to facilitate as far as we can – fair pay deals.

“We’ve provided – and the councils are the employers of the workers that you’re referring to right now – we’ve provided more resources to local authorities to try to facilitate a fairer pay deal and I’m glad to see that Cosla has now put on the table a 5% pay offer and I hope that now paves the way to these issues being resolved.”

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