News Pay

Local government members vote to reject pay offer and take action

Local government members in UNISON Scotland have overwhelmingly rejected COSLA’s pay offer and voted to take action to secure an improvement.

The consultative ballot closed on 26 April and saw 87% vote to reject the pay deal. 90%, of those members, voted in favour of taking some form of action up to and including strike action.

UNISON is urging COLSA leaders to come back with an improved offer.  In the meantime UNISON Scotland’s local government committee is preparing next steps for a formal industrial action ballot.

Inez Kirk
Inez Kirk

Branch secretary and Scottish negotiator Inez Kirk said: “Local government workers have overwhelmingly voted to reject COSLA’s  pay offer and made it clear that they are willing to take strike action to get a better offer.  It is disappointing that yet again UNISON members are having to consider withdrawing their labour in order to secure a decent pay rise – it’s the last thing they want to do but they continue to face a cost of living crisis and they have understandably had enough of being treated like the poor relations of the public sector.

“COSLA and the Scottish government need to get around the table and fund local government properly so these workers get a pay rise that recognises and rewards the vital work they do.  The alternative is that we remain in this cycle of dispute year after year with the result that local government workers become increasingly exasperated and disillusioned at the way they are being treated.”

Mark Ferguson

Chair of UNISION Scotland local government committee, Mark Ferguson added: “Local government workers in Scotland have suffered over a decade of pay cuts and, with the rest of the country, are living with the cost of living crisis. Local government staff are the backbone of our communities – our refuse workers, cleaners, school staff, carers and more. They deserve to paid fairly and not have to be worrying about how they will pay their household bills.”

Read full pay offer here:

UNISON letter to COSLA with reasons for recommending rejecting the offer:

Summary of pay offer, effective from 1 April 2023

– A 5% uplift on all Spinal Column Points (SCP)

Effective from 1 January 2024

  • An additional £0.45 on SCP2 to SCP18 and the underpinning Scottish Local Government Living Wage rate. This will raise the SLGLW by £0.99 over the course of the financial year.
  • An additional 2.5% on SCP19 to SCP43, with smoothing consisting of slightly
  • higher uplifts applied to SCP19, 20, and 21.
  • An additional 1.5% up on SCP44 to SCP64.
  • An additional 1% on SCP 65 and above