Rubbish will pile up in Edinburgh streets during Festival if waste and recycling workers strike, says UNISON

Waste and recycling workers in Edinburgh are being balloted for strike action over a pay dispute.

UNISON, Scotland’s largest local government union, has notified City of Edinburgh Council today (Monday) that official strike ballot papers will be sent out next Monday (June 10). The ballot will close three weeks later (July 1).

If workers vote to strike, rubbish will pile up in the streets during the Edinburgh Festival and other summer events.

The union says the current pay offer from Cosla to local government workers falls significantly short of what they deserve, and well below the pay claim that unions submitted earlier this year.

UNISON Edinburgh branch secretary David Harrold said: “If workers vote to strike, rubbish will pile up on the streets again at the Edinburgh Festival – one of Scotland’s truly global events.

“The last thing anyone wants to do is take strike action, but local government workers deserve a fair increase to stop their pay lagging behind inflation and other sectors in the economy. This is about more than just waste workers, we are standing together for fair pay for every council worker in the country.”

UNISON regional organiser Greig Kelbie said: “I would urge every waste worker in the ballot to look for their ballot envelope and return it as soon as possible. We need to send a clear and resounding message that we demand a fair deal for all council workers. Together, we can make a difference for every council worker who deserves fair pay.”

Notes to editors

  • UNISON is the largest union in Scotland, our members work in local government, education, health and social care, NHS, police staff, water, energy and utilities.
  • Cosla pay offer read here
  • UNISON pay claim read here