Council workers across Scotland set to strike over pay

Local government unions have today issued notices of industrial action to local authorities across Scotland in a dispute over pay for council workers.

The Joint Trade Unions have between them mandates to take action in half of Scotland’s local authority areas. Today (Monday) they have notified COSLA that they have served notices to those authorities that they will be calling out members employer in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste, recycling and fleet maintenance services on the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th November.

It is understood that this could be the start of an escalating period of action if the employer does not change their position.

The Joint Trade Unions have also written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Local Government and Education calling on them to intervene saying that it is not credible for the Scottish Government to wash their hands of local government workers by arguing technicalities of the bargaining machinery.

It is now more than 10 months since the Joint Trade Unions submitted their pay claim, on behalf of the 200k local government workers covered by the Scottish Joint Council negotiating machinery, and 19 months into a global pandemic which has seen them working flat out on the frontline with no reward.

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said: “It is the combined failure of both COSLA and the Scottish government to reward these key workers that has led to the situation where we have now been forced to issue notice of targeted strike action.

“Our members are at breaking point and are worth more than what is on offer – it is deeply regrettable that they should have to withdraw their labour for the employer to recognise their worth. Over 55% of LG workers earn below £25k per year, and the vast majority have received no reward at all for their efforts during the Covid pandemic.  The current offer does not even bring the lowest paid LG workers up to £10 per hour.”


Notes to editors

  • The Scottish Joint Council for Local Government workers covers 120,000 local government workers.
  • You can read the TU pay claim here
  • You can read the employers latest offer here
  • You can read the SJC Joint Sec letter to COSLA of 25th October 2021 here
  • You can read the SJC Joint Sec letter to Cabinet Secretaries 25th October 2021 here