Martin Ford 14 September 2018

Unions offered new pay rise to avert strike action

A new pay offer has been put forward by councils in Scotland in a bid to avert industrial action.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COLSA) claimed its £350m offer represented an increase of 3% for 99.7% of the workforce.

It goes further than the offer rejected by GMB members in June, which offered the 3% rise only to workers earning below £36,500 while staff on higher grades would have received a flat rate increase of £1,600.

Unions have been warned by COSLA that going beyond a 3% pay increase would lead to job losses and threaten services.

COSLA’s resources spokesperson, Cllr Gail Macgregor, said: ‘The bottom line is that the proposals on offer for the whole local government workforce will cost more than £350m this year.

'That is a £350m investment in our workforce, an investment that will cascade down to local communities and local economies, through the essential services being delivered.’

COSLA president, Cllr Alison Evison, appealed to unions to accept the offer, insisting employers had to balance fair pay with protecting services.

She added: ‘This is not always an easy or a comfortable balancing act, but what council leaders have come up with this year for our workforce attempts to meet these twin aspirations.

‘I ask the trade unions to take a realistic approach and accept our offer.

'Let us work together for a fairer local government settlement from the Scottish Government.

‘Given that there is no money for pay in our settlement from Scottish Government for the general workforce - unlike other parts of the public sector - increasing pay beyond this level of 3% would mean more job losses and reducing essential services even further.’

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