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GMB Urges Scottish Council Staff To Reject ‘Unfair And Unacceptable’ Pay Offer

Monday, May 7, 2018

GMB urges Scottish council staff to reject ‘unfair and unacceptable’ pay offer 

GMB Scotland launches a full consultative ballot of its 30,000 members across Scottish Local Government today (Monday 7 May), urging a rejection of an ‘unfair and unacceptable’ pay offer for 2018/19 ahead of crunch talks with the Scottish Government later this week. 

As it stands, the offer put forward to local government trade unions by leaders at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) proposes: 

  • A 3 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning up to £36,500.
  • A 2 per cent pay increase will apply to all employees earning £36,501- £80,000.
  • A flat rate increase of £1,600 to employees earning more than £80,000.

But after ten years of cuts to pay and services, GMB says it cannot recommend an offer that increases the pay of the highest grades by £1,600 a year while staff on the lowest grades - including home carers, refuse workers and school cleaners - receive between £250 and £600. 

Local Government trade union representatives will meet with Scottish Government Finance Secretary Derek Mackay this coming Thursday. The GMB ballot runs until Friday 15 June and widespread rejection of the COSLA pay offer as it stands could see a programme of industrial action across councils this summer. 

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy said: “Do COSLA bosses and Derek Mackay really think a council chief executive deserves a pay rise worth £1,000 more than your average full-time home carer? GMB doesn’t and we don’t think our members will either.

After a decade of cuts to local government pay, conditions and services, a three per cent increase might seem like a reasonable offer on the face of it but the devil is in the detail - this is not an offer that tackles austerity. 

In fact, if left unchallenged, this offer would increase the pay gap between the lowest and highest earners in local government and that’s just not credible if you are serious about doing more for the lowest paid. 

We are challenging the Scottish Government and COSLA to do more for the lowest paid because this offer is unfair and unacceptable, which is why we will be strongly urging our members to reject it.” 


Contact: Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland Senior Organiser, on 07912 560806 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.