GMB Scotland slams “failure at all levels of government” as council ballot gets underway
GMB Scotland has attacked “failure at all levels of government” as an industrial action ballot across local government gets underway this morning (Monday 6 June) against the threats of a 2 per cent pay offer and swingeing cuts to local jobs and services.
Nearly 10,000 GMB members in waste and cleansing and schools and early years services will be asked if they back strikes in the face of a pay offer from employer body COSLA amounting to less than £10 a week for staff earning under £25,000 a year.
Joint trade unions in local government wrote to the First Minister and the Finance Secretary last week seeking urgent talks and warned about the consequences for council workers of significantly below inflation pay with the cost of living at a forty-year high.
The ballot, which runs throughout the summer until Tuesday 26 July, also takes place amid dire forecasts for local government budgets following the Scottish Government’s spending review plans.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway warned: “Council workers and the vital services they deliver are firmly in the sights of Kate Forbes’s cuts agenda, and if left unchallenged the lowest paid will pay the highest price in the biggest cost-of-living crisis for 40 years.
“This is what years of failure at all levels of government looks like – a decade of failed austerity, the passing on of cuts to communities, and a meek acceptance of the consequences locally. It’s a far cry from the doorstep applause of virtue-signalling political leaders just two years ago.
“It shows everyone there are no political superheroes and if you want wages that confront soaring inflation then you need to organise and fight for it. That’s exactly what our members are doing and unless an improved pay offer is tabled then industrial action looks inevitable.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway on 07855 017842 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.