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Council workers across Scotland need ‘significantly improved’ pay offer, GMB warns

by Our Industrial reporter @TrinderMatt

COUNCIL workers across Scotland need a “significantly improved” pay offer if strikes are to be averted, GMB warned today.

GMB Scotland senior organiser Keir Greenaway urged Holyrood and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) to “step up” and resolve the dispute.

Council staff represented by GMB, Unison and Unite have already backed walkouts after rejecting a 2 per cent pay offer, noting that it is well below soaring inflation.

Industrial action by school staff, early years workers and employees in council cleasing departments can only be avoided now if SNP ministers “find more money” for local authorities, Mr Greenaway stressed.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland ahead of more talks scheduled for this afternoon, he said: “The Scottish government has got the ability to raise income for itself to be able to give to public services and it is not taking those options.

“It is up to the Scottish government to think of some of those solutions. Our members need a significantly improved pay offer.”

Half of all council workers in Scotland earn £25,000 a year or less, said Mr Greenaway, adding that the latest wage proposal was worth “less than a tenner a week for most of them, so it just didn’t go far enough.

“The 2 per cent offer is the lowest that is on the table across the UK public sector and it is obviously a very woeful offer when we are looking at double-digit inflation.”

He accused both ministers and Cosla of “lacking the political will” to settle the matter.

The local government body said it had asked Holyrood for more money, while the SNP administration reiterated its call for all parties to find a resolution before strikes begin. 

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