Ballot for Strike Action

Thousands of council workers in waste, recycling and street cleaning services across Scotland are to be balloted for strike action from Thursday 27th June in an ongoing dispute over pay, says UNISON.

If workers back industrial action, there could be mass walkouts across the country in August, the union says.

The pay dispute, over what UNISON says is an inadequate pay offer, affects all council workers in Scotland.

Employer organisation Cosla has made a two-stage offer, which would operate over an 18-month period. It would give a 2.2% increase for the first six months and an additional 2% for the subsequent 12 months, until September next year.

A consultation by the union earlier this month saw thousands of staff employed by Scottish councils vote overwhelmingly to reject the offer, with 91% of workers rejecting the pay proposal.
The industrial action ballot continues until Wednesday 17 July.

UNISON Scotland local government committee chair Colette Hunter said: “It’s disappointing that it’s come to a strike ballot. But Cosla has refused to either improve its pay offer or join unions in their call to meet the Scottish government to discuss additional funding.

“Striking is always a last resort, but workers deserve to be paid wages reflecting their essential roles. They’re determined to achieve just that.”

UNISON Scotland lead for local government David O’Connor said: “Cosla’s proposal falls short of UNISON’s pay claim. It’s also less than the offer made to the lowest-paid local government staff south of the border.

“It does nothing to address the impact of below-inflation pay settlements that have reduced the value of staff wages by a quarter over the past 14 years. Scotland’s council workers deserve much better.”