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Branch members will strike on pay as costs spiral

Aberdeenshire branch members have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action, in a ballot which exceeded the 50% turnout threshold.

They join thousands of UNISON members across Scotland, in taking action which will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres, following the largest strike ballot amongst council workers in over a decade.

UNISON members in all councils across Scotland overwhelmingly voted to reject the COSLA final pay offer of 2%.  Aberdeenshire branch was amongst nine local authority branches exceeding the required 50% turnout threshold required by the Trade Union Act.

Inez Kirk
Inez Kirk

Inez Kirk, branch secretary and Scottish negotiator thanked members for returning their ballot papers in such numbers and thanked staff and activists for their work in phoning round to turn out the vote.

Inez warned: “Our members have spoken and their message is very clear.

“COSLA leaders meet on Friday and must put an improved offer on the table if we are to avoid large-scale disruption to council services across Scotland.

“Council workers south of the border yesterday were offered a flat rate uplift of £1925, which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5% increase.

“You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly 2% increase when the cost of living continues to spiral. UNISON has been calling for a flat rate payment to help those on lower incomes. Most council workers earn less than £25k per year.

“It is clear now that our members have had enough and are prepared to strike in the coming weeks unless we see a sensible offer from COSLA, on the table on Friday.

“This is the largest strike ballot by local government workers in over a decade and the first-time workers across Scotland have voted to take strike action in these numbers. It really shouldn’t take this for them to receive the recognition, respect and reward that they deserve.”