UNISON Scotland’s local government committee met this morning (Thursday) and have voted unanimously to reject Cosla’s revised offer outright, which was sent to the union yesterday evening (Wednesday).
The union say that unless a significantly improved offer is received by 5pm on Wednesday (September 20th), schools strikes planned for September 26th 27th and 28th will go ahead.
UNISON have written to Colsa today to say that “the revision is miniscule and as a result the unanimous decision of our committee is that we reject this offer outright and proceed with strike action on the dates already notified.”
The letter to Cosla points out that the revised offer represents an increase on the previous offer of only 0.17%. For those on the lowest pay the revised offer represents an increase of only £0.01 per hour, effective from 1st Jan 2024. Those working full-time and earning £25K or above are being offered no increase on the previous offer, which has already been rejected.
UNISON Scotland head of local government, Johanna Baxter said: “It is deeply disappointing that it has taken COSLA five months since our members rejected the initial offer to present such insignificant changes. We have made very clear that COSLA must put forward a significantly improved offer to avert mass school strikes. Members of our Local Government Committee this morning described this offer as insulting.
It is staggering that COSLA have still not approached, and continue to refuse to approach, the Scottish Government for additional funding to make a meaningful improvement to the pay offer. Given the state of local authority budgets we believe this to be a dereliction of the duty to stand up for local government and fight for the funding needed to both properly reward the local government workforce and keep our public services running.”
UNISON Scotland chair of UNISON Scotland local government committee, Mark Ferguson said: “The strike mandate we have is the strongest show of strength by our members in decades – their resolve to fight for the decent pay rise they, and all their colleagues across local government, so richly deserve is clear.”
Notes to editors
• UNISON is the largest union in local government in Scotland with over 80,000 members.
• UNISON letter to COSLA here
• COSLA’s revised pay offer here
• The letter to Cosla points out that the revised offer represents an increase to the end of year percentage uplift value of only 0.17%. For those on the lowest pay the revised offer represents an increase to the hourly rate, effective from 1st Jan 2024, offered of only £0.01. Members working full time and earning £25K or above are being offered no increase on the previous offer which has already been rejected.
• In August, UNISON members working in schools voted overwhelmingly to take strike action with mandates in 24 local authority areas across Scotland. It is the largest ever vote for strike action by school staff in Scotland.
• Local authority areas affected are: Aberdeenshire Council; Highland Council; Orkney Islands Council; Shetland Islands Council; The City of Edinburgh Council; Comhairle nan Eilean Siar; Fife Council; South Lanarkshire Council; Aberdeen City Council; Glasgow City Council; Clackmannanshire Council; Moray Council; South Ayrshire Council; Stirling Council; West Dunbartonshire Council; North Ayrshire Council; East Dunbartonshire Council; Dundee City Council; Inverclyde Council; Angus Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Perth & Kinross Council; Dumfries & Galloway Council; and Renfrewshire Council.
• UNISON’s strike mandate covers over 21,000 members covering the full range of school support staff duties including school cleaners, caterers, janitors and school support assistants.
Johanna Baxter: 07817 120894
Danny Phillips 07717715277 / 07944 664220 firstname.lastname@example.org