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GMB Scotland members overwhelmingly reject councils’ pay offer

Friday, April 21, 2023

GMB Scotland members overwhelmingly reject councils’ pay offer    

Thousands of GMB Scotland members working for the country’s local authorities have overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer.

They voted decisively against the offer from local government body Cosla in a consultative ballot of more than 20,000 GMB members, including home carers, school cleaners and bin collectors, working for Scotland’s local authorities.

The result of the vote announced today reveals an overwhelming 94% of the union’s members rejected the offer.

Responding to the result, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, Keir Greenaway said it was clear council staff are not willing to accept an offer of around 5.5% when the rate of inflation is almost double that.

The ballot results were announced days after the Office for National Statistics revealed inflation in the UK is running at 10.1% while food prices are climbing by 19%.

The continuing cost of living crisis is hitting the lowest paid, including many council workers, hardest and Greenaway said they were right to refuse a pay offer that failed to recognise the impact of rising prices on household budgets and would only further entrench workplace poverty.

Greenaway said: “Given the continuing cost of living crisis, it is absolutely no surprise workers are unwilling to accept what is effectively a pay cut.

“The offer was clearly not good enough.”

He said the proposed deal was the lowest rise of any offered to local government workers across the UK and Scots staff were right to follow the GMB’s recommendation and reject it.

“This offer would short-change Scots council workers by hundreds of pounds compared to colleagues in England and Wales,” he said.

“Given the strength of feeling and determination to secure a pay offer that reflects the rising cost of living, it is now imperative that Cosla and Scottish Government work together with urgency and commitment to fund a fair and acceptable offer.

“If, for whatever reason, that does not happen and happen quickly, we will waste no time in escalating this dispute to ensure serious negotiations can begin.”


Contact: Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, on 07855 017842 GMB Scotland Communications on 07738486317 or email: