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.