William Eichler 10 May 2022

'Battle-ready’ union warns Scottish council leaders of summer strikes

Battle-ready’ union warns Scottish council leaders of summer strikes   image
Image: Kelly Neilson / Shutterstock.com.

Unite the union yesterday told all new council leaders at Scottish local authorities to take ‘immediate action’ to improve pay or see strikes this summer.

The trade union confirmed that it is in the process of targeting selected groups of workers employed in all thirty-two Scottish authorities with a view to balloting its members in schools, home care and cleansing as early as June.

Last month, COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) insisted that the Scottish government needed to do more to invest in the local government workforce.

‘If the Scottish government is to deliver on their key priorities there needs to be greater investment in and recognition of the local government workforce,’ a spokesman said at the time.

‘In addition, the value of the workforce will be maximised by ensuring staff are appropriately paid, skilled, supported, and recognised for the critical roles they do.’

However, Unite yesterday also accused COSLA leaders who recently voted against making a further pay offer of having ‘zero backbone’ when it comes to demanding more financial support from the Scottish government.

In March, the union rejected a 2% pay offer from COSLA as falling far short of both the trade union claim and the current rate of inflation.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Unite’s members across local government in Scotland have had enough of year on year pay freezes and cuts, which is why we are getting battle-ready to deliver the pay rise they deserve.

‘It’s a sorry indictment of both COSLA and the Scottish Government that our members are preparing to vote on strike action but from the Shetland Islands to the Borders, Unite’s members have their union’s full backing in their fight for decent pay.’

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer said: ‘The first thing in the in-tray for the new council leaders is Unite’s warning that unless there is a change of attitude then we will ballot thousands of our members on industrial action.

‘We know COSLA Leaders voted against making any further pay offer and they are treating our members with utter contempt. COSLA has proven themselves to possess zero backbone when it comes to standing up against the Scottish Government and demanding that services and workers get the support they deserve.’

COSLA has been contacted for a response.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assistant Director - Prevention and Service Development

North Yorkshire County Council
£86,252- £98,275 plus relocation support (up to £8,000)
Come and Join Team North Yorkshire! County Hall and around the county, including from home
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Principal Transport Development Planner

Suffolk County Council
£39,759 per annum (pro rata if part time)
A great opportunity to join the Suffolk County Council's Transport Strategy Team as a Principal Transport Development Planner. Suffolk County Council, Ipswich IP1 2BX
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Senior Manager - Asset and Network

Cheshire West & Chester
£56,593 - £62,792
This is a brand-new role developed out of our vision for the future of the recently established Transport and Highways directorate. Chester, Ellesmere Port, Winsford
Recuriter: Cheshire West & Chester

Provider Development Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£50,183 - £58,379 plus relocation support (up to £8,000)
Come and Join Team North Yorkshire! County-wide – Hybrid
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Integrated Care

North Yorkshire County Council
£60,567 - £69,001 plus relocation support (up to £8,000)
Come and Join Team North Yorkshire! North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.