School strikes suspended after ‘ground-breaking’ pay offer

School strikes have been suspended following an improved pay offer.

Unison members had previously voted for rolling strikes over the coming weeks, which would have seen schools close again, including in Shetland. 

But yesterday (Friday) the union announced all strikes had been put on hold to allow for consultation on the latest pay deal.

Local government body Cosla said it had worked with the Scottish government to secure an extra £17m to backdate the offer to April. It has also delivered a minimum pay rate of £15 per hour.

Unison said it had negotiated a “ground-breaking commitment” to tackle low pay across local government which should deliver above inflation increases for the lowest paid workers for at least the next three years.

It claims members’ action has helped bring an extra £100m into the pay packets of council workers.

“It was Unison members who stood on picket lines to fight for a better deal,” she said.

“It was Unison negotiators who brokered this deal. And it will be Unison members who determine whether it gets accepted.” 

The union’s local government committee chairman Mark Fergusson said the £15 per hour minimum pay offer was “ground-breaking”.

“Where previous offers only offered talks about the possibility of this being achieved, these improvements make it happen,” he added.

“This has been a long-standing Unison objective to help those on the very lowest pay and we will work hard with Cosla on the practicalities of delivering it.

“It is right we put this offer to our members and I want to thank Unison members for taking action that has helped secure these improvements.

“Our membership has been growing at unprecedented rates over the past few months which demonstrates that workers know Unison will deliver for them.”


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