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School strikes suspended pending ballot on new offer

All school strikes have been suspended after talks between COSLA and UNISON have secured an improved pay offer for local government workers.

UNISON will now ballot all Local Government members on this new deal.

UNISON has negotiated a ground-breaking commitment to tackle low pay across local government which should deliver above inflation increases for the lowest paid workers for at least the next three years.

Action by UNISON members over the past months has delivered an additional £100m into the pay packets of local government workers. This includes an additional £17.2m secured in the last couple of weeks.  The agreement to backdate the full offer to the beginning of April for all workers further benefits around 4 in 10 of the workforce.

UNISON was the only union to take strike action in this dispute. The union will put this new pay offer to their members with the recommendation that they vote to accept it. The ballot will run over the next few weeks.

UNISON Scotland’s head of local government, Johanna Baxter said: “Over the past few months, from the employers original offer to today, the action of UNISON members has secured more than an additional £100m into the pockets of local government workers. This includes an additional £17.2m secured in the last couple of weeks.

The improvements put forward today help address low pay and support those in the squeezed middle.  The commitment to delivering a minimum rate of pay of £15 per hour for all local government workers by April 2026 will go a long way to tackling low pay across the sector.

Backdating the full offer to April this year will see an improvement for four in ten local government workers.

It was UNISON members who stood on picket lines to fight for a better deal.  It was UNISON negotiators who brokered this deal.  And it will be UNISON members who determine whether it gets accepted.”

Chair of the local government committee, Mark Ferguson said: “The commitment to deliver a minimum of £15 per hour for local government workers is ground-breaking and should see above inflation increases for those on the lowest pay for at least the next three years.  This will make a real difference to their lives.

Where previous offers only offered talks about the possibility of this being achieved, these improvements make it happen.  This has been a long-standing UNISON objective to help those on the very lowest pay and we will work hard with COSLA on the practicalities of delivering it.

It is right we put this offer to our members and I want to thank UNISON members for taking action that has helped secure these improvements. Our membership has been growing at unprecedented rates over the past few months which demonstrates that workers know UNISON will deliver for them.”