William Eichler 18 March 2021

COSLA pay offer ‘slap in the face’, union says

COSLA pay offer ‘slap in the face’, union says image

Unison has accused the body representing local authorities in Scotland of making a pay offer that ‘falls far short’ of what local government workers deserve.

The trade union says the offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) would result in an increase of less than £10 per week for those on the lowest pay.

According to Unison, the pay offer does little to address issues of low pay which have become ‘endemic following a decade of austerity.’

A COSLA spokesperson said that negotiations with the trade union were ongoing.

‘COSLA has been quick to praise our members for their efforts during this pandemic yet have presented our members with a dismal pay offer,’ said Mark Ferguson, chair of Unison Scotland’s local government committee.

‘Our members have gone above and beyond to provide the services we have all relied on during this pandemic, the least they deserve is to be paid fairly. This offer is a slap in the face to our dedicated local government workforce.’

Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland’s head of local government, said: ‘This offer amounts to less than £10 per week for those on the lowest pay and fails to address the impact of years of austerity where wages have fallen significantly behind inflation. Given how much we have relied on these workers over the past 12 months and the sacrifices they have made to keep us all safe they deserve better.

‘The moral and economic imperatives for providing these workers with a substantial pay increase are overwhelming. There is no better way to stimulate our economic recovery than putting money into the pockets of low-paid workers.

‘Our message to politicians is clear – warm words and claps don’t pay the bills. Stop treating local government workers like the poor relations of the public sector and fund a decent increase.’

Responding to Unison, a spokesperson for the local government body said: ‘COSLA remains in proactive negotiations with our trade unions.’

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