Mark Conrad 06 April 2021

Unions reject Scots pay offer

Unions reject Scots pay offer image

Trade unions in Scotland have formally rejected employers’ pay offer of an £800 lower-rate pay rise for 2021, dismissing the sum as an unacceptably poor response to staff efforts during COVID-19.

In a statement issued just before the Easter break, the Joint Trade Unions body said the offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) fell well short of the £2,000 flat rate (or 6% increase) staff bodies had demanded. The three main unions – Unison, GMB and Unite – will now ballot their members to take action to secure an improved offer.

But Cosla has defended its offer as affordable, given the ongoing town hall austerity due to the pandemic.

Council employers offered a flat-rate pay increase of £800 for all staff, with a 2% uplift for those earning between £25,000 and £40,000, and a 2% increase in all nationally negotiated allowances.

Trade unions warned that meant an in-pocket rise of just £10 per week for some of the sector’s lowest paid staff.

Drew Duffy of GMB said: 'Local government workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty for over 12 months now and up to now all that has been offered to the low paid workforce in councils amounts to less than £10 per week.'

A letter to the unions from Simon Cameron, joint secretary of the employers’ side, said the offer 'aligned with the Scottish Government Public Sector Pay Policy'. 

One year on, councils will be central to recovery image

One year on, councils will be central to recovery

After an extraordinary year, council staff are exhausted, worn down and facing further cuts, says Heather Jameson. But she has no doubt they will continue to rise to the challenge 'whether it is in an office, at home or on a laptop anywhere'.
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