First Minister’s emergency strike talks with unions continue

The First Minister has been hosting council leaders and representatives of local authority workers.

Nicola Sturgeon’s emergency strike talks with council leaders and trade unions continue for hours Scottish Government

Nicola Sturgeon has been hosting emergency talks with trade unions and council leaders to avert further strike action.

Negotiations have been ongoing since 1pm on Thursday afternoon when COSLA representatives arrived for their meeting with the First Minister.

Then the unions went in at around 2.30pm for a separate meeting.

At this stage it is possible to detect a distinct change in the tone of these discussions.

The fact that they are still in there and the fact the First Minister is getting personally involved would suggest very strongly that there is likely to be positive movement.

STV News understands there is no fresh offer at this stage, but union sources say the talks have been productive and are moving in the right direction.

They have been pushing for more money for lower-paid workers and for that cash to not just be a one-off payment.

It could be that we see something more concrete emerging on Thursday evening.

If that happens then the unions would meet with their executive committees at the earliest opportunity – most likely Friday – to decide whether to recommend an offer is accepted.

It comes ahead of a second wave of cleansing worker strikes due to start on Tuesday, September 6, and 12 councils are expecting to be hit by education and early years staff strikes next week with many announcing that all nurseries, primaries and additional support for learning schools will close for three days.

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