Scottish council strikes over schools hit and bin collections suspended after improved wage offer

Scottish council strikes over schools hit and bin collections suspended after improved wage offer
Scottish council strikes over schools hit and bin collections suspended after improved wage offer

Strikes due to the closure of hundreds of schools and nurseries and the disruption of bin collections across Scotland next week have been put on hold, after an improved pay offer was made to unions.

Unison, Unite and the GMB all said they were canceling the planned industrial action as they took the latest offer to their members, with a recommendation they accepted.

The breakthrough came after Nicola Sturgeon, who had previously refused to get involved in the dispute, chaired marathon talks between unions and council leaders on Thursday.

The Cosla Council leadership group agreed to the terms of a new deal on Friday morning, resulting in a bigger pay rise for most workers instead of two-year cost-of-living payments.

The deal includes a pay rise of £2,000 for those earning up to £20,500, a raise of £1,925 for those earning between £20,500 and £39,000 and a 5% raise for those who earn between £39,000 and £60,000.

It also sets a maximum raise of £3,000 for those earning over £60,000, with unions also guaranteeing an extra day’s annual leave and waiving social care registration fees.

Unison, the largest local government union, said the offer was a “victory” for its members, who were initially offered a “miserable” pay rise of 2% in March and 3.5% in July.

The union said the new offer represented a total payroll increase of 7.5%, with eight out of 10 of its members getting a pay rise of between 5 and 10%.

The three unions will now vote their members on whether they accept the offer. If they do, the threat of a strike among garbage collectors and school staff will be lifted.

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Unison representative Johanna Baxter said it took eight months and a refuse workers’ strike to “pull £600m out of the Scottish Government and Cosla and into the pockets of hard-working workers”.

GMB Scotland lead organizer Keir Greenaway said the offer was “not perfect” but offered more to the lowest-paid people in local government.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite’s chief negotiator, said Ms Sturgeon’s “direct involvement” in the dispute was the “main reason for the breakthrough”.

The Scottish Labor Party welcomed the breakthrough, but said communities across Scotland had “suffered weeks of disruption and disarray due to the intransigence” of ministers.

“It’s just not enough that it has taken weeks of industrial action to embarrass the SNP government,” said the party’s local government spokesman, Mark Griffin.

“This will not be the last social conflict of the year. As sector after sector votes for action, the SNP must realize that it cannot continue to approach industrial relations in this sloppy and damaging way.

. strikes council scottish cause of schools hit of collections trash cans suspended after a offer salary improved

. Scottish council strikes schools hit bin collections suspended improved wage offer

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