COSLA tables new Unison offer after funding found to meet 'extra demands'

School support staff walked out of schools across the west of Scotland this week, with further action over the pay dispute planned in the coming weeks.

COSLA tables new Unison offer after funding found to meet ‘extra demands’ aimed at averting school strikes Pixabay

Council leaders have tabled another offer to a union in a dispute over pay which has left schools across Scotland closed over strike action.

COSLA said additional funding has been found to meet the “extra demands” of Unison and urged bosses to put the deal to its members.

School support staff walked out in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde on Wednesday, while next week further industrial action will see strikes across South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh and Fife.

Unison said further strike dates will be announced.

The union rejected a pay deal from local council body COSLA that was accepted by other unions, including Unite and GMB, last month.

COSLA said “intensive talks” at a meeting of council leaders on Friday allowed for additional funding to be put into the offer.

A spokesperson for the local authority body said it was “disappointing” the row with Unison was continuing while others had accepted the deal.

“Two of our three trade unions voted to accept the pay offer made on September 21 – at that point, there was no additional money available to increase that offer,” a statement read.

“After intensive talks, the Scottish Government has identified a mechanism to underwrite limited additional one-off funding which can meet the extra demands of Unison.

“This will now allow councils to put additional funding into the offer, allowing all elements of the current offer to be backdated. Leaders recognise the importance of getting money into the pockets of our workforce as early as possible and today’s decisions will hopefully make that possible.

“Given that an extremely strong offer was made to our trade unions back in April and then revised in September, it is disappointing that reaching agreement has taken so long.

“But the priority of leaders today is ensuring that nobody is left out of pocket ahead of the winter period, especially given the ongoing pressures of the cost of living crisis.”

More to follow.

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