Council workers in the GMB union, including cleaners; carers and bin collectors, have overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer.
More than 20,000 members of the GMB union took part in the ballot, with 94% rejecting the pay offer from COSLA, the country’s governing body for local authorities.
The union said the offer, which amounts to around 5.5%, is “effectively a pay cut” due to the current rate of inflation and cost of living crisis.
The ballot results were announced days after the Office for National Statistics revealed inflation in the UK is running at 10.1% while food prices are climbing by 19%.
Responding to the result, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, Keir Greenaway said: “Given the continuing cost of living crisis, it is absolutely no surprise workers are unwilling to accept what is effectively a pay cut.
“The offer was clearly not good enough.”
Mr Greenaway argued that the offer was the lowest rise offered to local government workers across the UK – leaving Scottish workers short changed.
He said: “This offer would short-change Scots council workers by hundreds of pounds compared to colleagues in England and Wales.
“Given the strength of feeling and determination to secure a pay offer that reflects the rising cost of living, it is now imperative that Cosla and Scottish Government work together with urgency and commitment to fund a fair and acceptable offer.
“If, for whatever reason, that does not happen and happen quickly, we will waste no time in escalating this dispute to ensure serious negotiations can begin.”
COSLA is expected to respond to the GMB ballot after other trade unions Unison and Unite reveal the results of their own ballots.