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Scottish council workers to strike after pay offer rejection

Strike action is expected to kick off this week after union chiefs rejected an improved pay offer from council leaders.

Strike action is expected to kick off this week after union chiefs rejected an improved pay offer from council leaders.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) put forward a 3.5% pay increase and said the Scottish Local Government Living Wage would be increased to £10.50 after the original 2% increase was rejected by trade unions. Its improved offer came after the Scottish Government offered councils £140m.

Around 250 Edinburgh-based Unite waste workers are now expected to walk out on Thursday in a first wave of industrial action while 1,500 waste workers are due to strike across 15 councils from 24 August until 31 August.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the ‘paltry' offer was ‘nowhere near good enough' as her members ‘deserve better'.

Acting national officer for local authorities at Unite, Clare Keogh, told The MJ, the decision was a ‘clear rejection' because the offer ‘fell so far below expectations' while regional officer Wendy Dunsmore called for members to receive an offer that ‘reflects their hard work'.

Senior organiser for public services at the Scottish branch of the GMB union, Keir Greenaway, added: ‘This is a dire response to the cost of living crisis facing our members. It will almost certainly lock in more strikes but let's also be clear that many frontline workers will fall into working poverty this winter unless this pay offer is significantly increased.

‘The blame game between COSLA and the Government will no doubt continue, but, six months on from the overwhelming rejection of the initial pay offer, this is a damning indictment of how our council workers are valued by Scotland's political leaders.'

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