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Scottish Government must ‘rise to the challenge’ on local government pay

Friday, December 1, 2017

Scottish Government must ‘rise to the challenge’ on local government pay

GMB members call for significant pay increase to tackle a ‘decade of austerity’

GMB Scotland has today (Friday 1 December) urged the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to ‘rise to the challenge’ of significantly raising local government pay ahead of the Scottish budget. 

The call comes after a survey of over 1,500 GMB members across Scottish local government found that:

  • 88% felt their living standards have got worse in the last five years;
  • 79% wanted a pay rise in 2018/19 as their priority issue; and
  • 57% wanted job security as a priority issue.

The Scottish Government committed earlier this year to ending austerity and lifting the cap on public sector pay.  Now GMB believes the voices of hard-pressed council staff must be heard by Mr Mackay as he prepares for the draft budget on Thursday 14 December.

Local Government trade unions will submit a joint pay claim to COSLA before Christmas, and GMB will put forward proposals including a £2.00 an hour increases across all pay grades and a commitment for no compulsory redundancies.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy said: “For the last ten years council workers have been at the coal face of the austerity agenda; their pay and conditions have been hammered after consecutive years of pay freezes and below inflation pay awards.

Our members are struggling to hold decimated services together.  You can see it in our rubbish strewn streets, pot holed roads, pit stop home care services and increasing levels of violence against staff in schools. 

They are working longer and harder for less pay and with fewer resources. We cannot go on like this.

We want a proper pay award for our local government members and one that also tackles the significant real term cuts to pay suffered since 2008.  We certainly won’t accept any attempts to make our members poorer, privatised or redundant. 

Derek Mackay has the powers at his disposal to start reversing a decade of cuts and he must rise to the challenge of defending local services while making work pay for our members when he sets out the draft budget.

GMB is clear that it’s time to end the austerity shame of Scottish local government.”


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