Union announces Scotland wide strike ballot of council staff
Local government workers across Scotland are being balloted on strike action, after rejecting a 1% pay offer.
UNISON, the public services union, will ballot 75,000 members working for Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
Stephanie Herd, Chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee, said: “Members are angry about a miserly 1% offer, following two years of a pay freeze.
“The year before that they only received 0.65%. Over this period the value of their pay has gone down by nearly 13%, while the cost of food and heating has soared.
“Council staff work hard delivering quality public services. They are overstretched after more than 34,500 local government jobs have gone. They are underpaid, and they see the wealthiest people in this country getting ever richer.
“Our members deserve fair pay and we believe they will vote yes for strike action to put pressure on the employers to improve the offer.”
UNISON is calling for a fair pay rise and for COSLA to commit to an annual increase in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.50 per hour. The current offer from employers includes the Living Wage, which the unions have campaigned for, but no annual uplift.
Dougie Black, UNISON lead negotiator in local government, said: “We tried to get the employers back round the table for talks after members voted to reject the offer, but the employers refused.
“It is clear that our members do not believe 1% is fair. They also lost out because they did not receive the £250 increase for the lowest paid NHS and civil service staff in the last two years, which was supposed to soften the blow of a pay freeze.”
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