Shetland’s key workers vote to strike over pay offer

Unison members have joined GMB trade union members in voting overwhelmingly to reject the Scottish government’s pay offer in favour of taking industrial action in pursuit of improved terms.

The current offer by Cosla, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, was made on 15th March and includes an £800 increase for staff earning under £25,000 a year, which both trade unions say is not enough given that local government workers have gone above and beyond in their response to the Covid pandemic.

Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland head of local government, said: “This is a massive rejection of an inadequate pay offer from Cosla.

“Whilst the Scottish government and Cosla have been quick to praise these workers for their efforts during the pandemic neither seem willing to take any action at all to recognise and reward them.

“It is about time they did and our members are clear that if an improved offer is not forthcoming they are prepared to take industrial action in order to achieve one.

“In a country where a quarter of children are living in poverty it should concern everyone that 55 per cent of the Scottish local government workforce earns less than £25k per annum – that’s over 100,000 workers earning significantly below the average wage of £32,000 per annum.

She added: “The best way to lift people out of poverty and regenerate our economy would be to put money into the pockets of the lowest paid.”

Unison members work in all areas of public services including local government, health services, education, gas, electricity and water supply, transport and police sectors.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.