Councils table new wage offer after talks with Sturgeon ahead of strikes

Councils table new wage offer after talks with Sturgeon ahead of strikes
Councils table new wage offer after talks with Sturgeon ahead of strikes

Unions representing municipal workers across Scotland have received a new pay offer following emergency talks chaired by Nicola Sturgeon.

Unison, GMB and Unite have confirmed strikes next week in cleaning and school services have been suspended as they prepare to recommend the latest deal to their members.

Discussions with COSLA leaders resumed Friday morning after Thursday’s meeting went late into the evening.

The new deal will see a £2,000 increase for workers earning up to £20,500, a 10% increase for most.

The new deal will see a £2,000 increase for workers earning up to £20,500, a 10% increase for most.

Those who earn between £20,500 and £39,000 will receive £1,925. High earners will get a 5% raise with a cap of £3,000 for those paid over £60,000.

Staff will also get an extra day off and work a shorter week.

The Prime Minister said it was a “good offer”, thanking both COSLA and the unions for their participation in the negotiations.

Sturgeon said the workers deserved a fair pay deal in “these really difficult times”, but warned the full cost of £600m would lead to cuts elsewhere.

“There is no bottomless money pit,” she told STV News.

“When we said there was no unallocated money, that was correct. Reaching this point will mean the Scottish Government will have to take money from other parts of our budget to fund this.

“But we think it’s important. Council workers across the country provide vital public services and they do so at a time of rampant inflation and, like everyone else, are struggling to make ends meet.

Sturgeon said Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney, who is also acting finance secretary, would present the government’s financial plans next week.

“Something has to give, we are going to have difficult decisions to make”, warned the Prime Minister.

Unison Local Government Leader Johanna Baxter said: ‘It took eight months and the industrial might of Unison members in schools and early years and waste and recycling workers to squeeze out 600 million pounds from the Scottish Government and COSLA and into the pockets of hard working people.

“COSLA originally offered 2%, then 3.5%, then 5% – we now have £600m on the table, which represents a 7.5% increase in total payroll and 87% of our municipal employees will receive fully funded increases of between 5% and 10%.”

Further strikes by waste workers were scheduled for next week, with staff from several local authorities set to stand down for eight days.

School and early apprenticeship workers were also due to take part in a three-day strike in some areas. However, Scotland’s biggest union has announced that its action has been suspended.

Resource Spokesperson for COSLA Advisor Katie Hagmann thanked the unions for the “constructive” discussions.

“The revised offer shows Scottish council leaders have listened to the concerns of our workforce and responded positively,” she said.

“Council leaders have consistently said throughout these negotiations that we greatly appreciate and are grateful to the local government workforce.

“We have sent letters to our union colleagues following today’s meeting and hope this will allow the strike to be suspended and allow our staff to get back to doing what they do best, providing high quality essential services to people in our communities across Scotland. .”

After receiving the new offer, committees of union representatives will discuss whether to accept it or not.

The Prime Minister personally intervened in talks with local authority leaders and trade unions on Thursday amid mass strikes in municipal services.

Previously, Sturgeon said all options to make more funding available amid the ongoing strikes had been “exhausted”.

COSLA’s previous offer included a minimum wage increase of £1,925, based on a 37-hour working week, matching the offer made to local government in England.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Scottish Government would provide an additional £100m to local government for 2022-23 to support cost of living payments offered as part of compensation on top of the £140m pounds already allocated.

. councils drop new offer pay after talks with Sturgeon before strikes

. Councils table wage offer talks Sturgeon ahead strikes

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