educators in 10 council areas decide to strike
Ten Scottish councils’ education and early childhood employees have approved a pay strike.
Following the summer break, targeted industrial action will be taken by members of Unite the Union’s council.
Numerous workers, such as janitors, cleaners, caterers, aides in the classroom, and office personnel, will be needed.
According to the local government living wage advocacy group Cosla, the “strong offer” increased it by 99p to £11.84 per hour.
Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, and Orkney are the ten councils that will be impacted.
The change comes after discussions with Cosla last week during which no improved pay offer was made.
In a Unite consultative vote held in May, the current 5% offer for 2023 was rejected by 84% of the participants. The overall inflation rate (RPI) is currently 10.7%.
In addition, Unite has demanded that First Minister Humza Yousaf take direct action in the pay dispute as a result of what it calls a “collapse” in negotiations.
The trade union has repeatedly criticised Cosla for failing to ask the Scottish government for financial support of a pay offer that is more equitable for council employees, claiming that both organisations run the risk of making the “same mistakes” that were made during the pay dispute last summer.
The message is loud and clear for both the Scottish government and Cosla, according to Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.
Because they won’t accept a real terms pay cut, thousands of our members have decided to participate in education and early years services strikes.
More than the 5% that politicians are offering to our members, in fact. We are committed to standing by our members as they fight for better working conditions, compensation, and benefits in local government.
“Measurable pay increase”
According to a Cosla spokesman, the offer was competitive with other industries, addressed the cost of living crisis, and would support the preservation of jobs and services.
Although the offer value is 5.5% for the current fiscal year, he claimed that salaries typically increase by 7% for the following fiscal year.
“Those earning the Scottish local government living wage would receive 9.12%, while those working in higher grades—where councils are having a difficult time finding qualified candidates—would receive 6.05%”
It is an offer that acknowledges both the crucial role played by the individuals who daily provide our essential services across councils and the value we as employers place on them.
The offer also included a commitment to work towards a pay deal that would pay £15 per hour, raising the Scottish local government living wage by 99p to £11.84 per hour, the spokesman said.
The Scottish government announced that it had contributed an additional £155 million to help local government employees receive a significant pay rise.
“Local authorities as employers and unions are responsible for negotiating local government salaries,” a spokesperson said.
As part of the Verity House Agreement, the Scottish government and Cosla agreed to abide by this negotiating arrangement.
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