Campaigns News Pay

Strike suspended to consult with members on improved pay offer

UNISON has agreed to suspend strike action whilst we consult with our members, after the threat of action won an improved pay offer worth £48m.

The offer came after UNISON had threatened to call out school cleaners, school caterers, school janitors, waste, recycling and fleet maintenance service workers for 5 days of strike action in councils across Scotland, as part of escalating action.

The COSLA offer, made today (29 November), includes £30m extra funds from the Scottish government and £18.5m made available from Scottish councils.

Inez Teece
Inez Kirk

Inez Kirk, Branch Secretary said, “Local Government committee met earlier and agreed to suspend our planned industrial action whilst we consult our council members on this offer.  The Local Government Committee has also agreed to recommend acceptance of this offer to members.”

UNISON will now approach the five local authorities, including Aberdeenshire, to whom we had sent Notices of Action, for a mutual agreement to suspend the action for a period of two months in order to allow that consultation to take place.

Inez added, “We will send further details to you on the arrangements for that consultative process as soon as we can.”

Please see the press release we have issued and social media graphic for you to share on your social media feeds:

Inez added, “Finally, thank you to each and every one of you who helped get us to this point – it is your action and those of our members who were prepared to take action that has helped secure this movement from the employer.  And whilst it does not give everything we might have wished it will put much more money into the pockets of our lowest paid members.”

Johanna Baxter UNISON Scotland head of local government added: “This improved pay offer rightly puts more money into the pockets of those on the lowest pay – it is just disappointing that UNISON members had to threaten to go on strike for their employer to recognise their worth.

“We will now consult our members on this offer and UNISON will continue to lead the fight to improve the terms and conditions of these workers in the forthcoming negotiations for the 2022 pay review.”

Mark Ferguson, Chair of UNISON Scotland Local Government Committee said: “It has taken 10 months and the threat of strike action for COSLA and the Scottish Government to recognise the vital role of local government workers. We have said all along that the Scottish government needed to step up to the plate.

“Local government needs a new deal, we need to invest in local services and those who work in local government need their value properly recognise in the years to come. ”