Council staff to consider strike action

Members of Unite have rejected COSLA's latest offer
Members of Unite have rejected COSLA's latest offer

The Unite trade union, which represents many local government employees, has again rejected a pay offer from COSLA, the organisation representing all Scottish councils.

In the vote on the revised pay offer, 55 per cent of members voted to reject, 45 per cent to accept.

The offer, of 3.5 per cent in 2018 followed by three per cent in 2019 and 2020, did not include a “trigger” clause to reopen negotiations in the event of Brexit causing increased inflation.

The union also says that in real terms its members would still earn less than they did ten years ago.

The ballot for Unite craft members, who also work across local authorities, will close on Monday, February 4.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, said: “This result is clear indication that our members remain unhappy with COSLA’s offer. COSLA will need to dig a bit deeper if we are to avoid industrial action.”

Unite representatives will now hold a meeting to discuss the next stage in the process which could result in strike action.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said: “Pay negotiations are conducted at a national level between COSLA and trade unions. We will continue to engage through COSLA on the issue of staff pay.”

Meanwhile, teachers have starting voting on whether to support their latest deal with COSLA offering a nine per cent increase between April 2018 and April 2019, with a further three per cent next year, backed by Scottish Government funding.

EIS officials voted to reject the deal as unions have been campaigning for 10 per cent one-year rise and is currently holding a consultative ballot of members.

The union recommends rejecting the pay offer and moving for a statutory ballot for strike action.