Ellie Ames 22 April 2024

Unison warns of looming strike as it awaits pay offer

Unison warns of looming strike as it awaits pay offer image
Image: Kelly Neilson / Shutterstock.com.

Scotland’s largest local government union has warned that strike preparations could begin next week amid growing tensions over pay.

Unison, along with Unite, submitted the 2024-25 pay claim for local government workers in January but the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) is yet to respond.

The unions had urged council bosses to reply as close to the 1 April implementation date as possible.

Unison Scotland local government chair Colette Hunter said: ‘It would appear that COSLA has learned nothing from last year’s pay dispute which resulted in school closures across Scotland.

‘The last thing anyone wants to do is take strike action, but if COSLA continue to ignore our pay claim then we may be left with no choice.’

COSLA said council leaders would meet this Friday to consider the claim.

Unison and Unite have called for an above-inflation increase for staff on the lowest pay as part of their aim for all local government workers to receive at least £15 an hour by April 2026.

In November, COSLA said it ‘supports the desire to ensure that a minimum underpinning rate of pay for all local government workers is implemented sooner than it would otherwise naturally occur, using the Real Living Wage as the reference point’.

The unions also asked for a pay rise of whichever is greater of 7% or £1.60 an hour.

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