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GMB Warns of Waste Piles and School Closures

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

GMB warns of waste piles and school closures as council staff vote to strike over pay

Waste will pile in Scotland’s cities and schools will shut later this summer unless the Scottish Government and COSLA table a significantly improved pay offer for local government staff.

The warning comes from GMB Scotland this morning (Wednesday 27 July) after thousands of members in waste and recycling and schools and early years services across major councils supported strikes against a 2 per cent pay offer for 2022/23, and secured turnouts surpassing the statutory 50 per cent threshold for public sector ballots.

It means that bins in councils including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow could remain uncollected, while schools in councils including Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, and Renfrewshire could close when strike dates are confirmed.

Against the backdrop of a forty-year high in the cost-of-living, the 2 per cent offer now stands as the poorest pay offer anywhere in UK local government. Joint trade unions will meet over the next few days to confirm arrangements for strike dates.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway said:

“Unless Ministers and COSLA make a significantly improved pay offer for the consultation of our members then strike action is happening across these vital services.  

“The 2 per cent that’s already been massively rejected is a shameful proposal, it’s worth less than a tenner a week extra for those earning £25,000 or under, and it will turn a cost-of-living crisis into a catastrophe for many workers and their families.

“Two years ago, these workers were applauded on the doorstep by political leaders, but now they are being told to suffer massive real terms pay cuts ahead of a brutal winter with forecasts of double-digit inflation and energy bills over £3,000.

“Our members are angry and scared, and the prospect of tens of thousands of council workers falling into the growing ranks of the working poor is not something GMB is prepared to leave unchallenged.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway on 07855 017842 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.

Notes to Editors:

“Key workers who kept country going in pandemic ‘facing poverty amid cost of living crisis”, Sunday Mail, 1 May 2022, access at: << Key workers who kept country going in pandemic 'facing poverty amid cost of living crisis' - Daily Record>>

The full list of GMB members in services that backed strike action and surpassed the statutory threshold is as follows: Aberdeen City – Waste and Schools; Angus – Waste; City of Edinburgh – Waste; Comhairle Nan Eilean – Schools; Dundee City – Waste and Schools; East Ayrshire – Waste; East Dunbartonshire – Waste and Schools; East Lothian – Waste; East Renfrewshire – Schools; Falkirk – Waste; Fife – Waste (Fife Resource Solutions); Glasgow City – Waste & Schools; Highland – Waste; Inverclyde – Waste; Midlothian – Waste; North Ayrshire – Waste; North Lanarkshire – Waste; Orkney Islands – Waste; Perth & Kinross – Waste; Renfrewshire – Waste and Schools; Scottish Borders – Waste; South Ayrshire – Waste; South Lanarkshire – Waste; West Dunbartonshire – Waste; West Lothian – Waste.