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Council workers vote to accept latest pay offer

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

GMB Scotland members in local government have voted to accept the latest pay offer and lifted their threat of industrial action.

The union had suspended scheduled strikes in schools and early years centres to allow members to decide on the revised offer from Cosla, representing Scotland’s local authorities.

Announcing the result of the ballot, Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser in public services, said 62% of members working in councils supported the deal offering a minimum increase of £1.04 per hour for the lowest paid council workers, a rise of 9.6%, and a minimum increase of £1 per hour for their colleagues

He said: “Our members have now backed this offer which will deliver a fair pay rise for all council workers, but particularly those on the lowest salaries.

“It is not a perfect offer but is a good one and it was right our members, who were ready to strike in support of fair pay, were given the chance to vote on it.

“We have been assured no council services or jobs will be cut to fund this offer and will continue to ensure those assurances are kept.”

Greenaway said the negotiating process had been far too long, however, and only fuelled uncertainty and mistrust.

He said: “That it took the threat of strike action for Cosla to make an offer which could and should have been on the table months ago is frustrating and regrettable.”

“Pay negotiations do not have to be like this.

“Instead of getting a fair pay offer and the money in their banks, our members have been asked to endure months of inaction, needless delay, and all the melodrama of deadlines and last-minute offers.

“The Scottish Government and Cosla need to sit down with the unions to find a better way of negotiating and ensuring these discussions are done with a sense of urgency and fairness that has been absolutely lacking in recent months.”