School strikes Scotland: GMB and Unite union members vote to accept council pay offer after Unison's rejection

Strikes planned by Unison but GMB and Unite members agree deal with Cosla

Two trade unions have lifted their threat of industrial action at Scottish schools after members voted to accept a pay offer from council chiefs.

GMB Scotland and Unite members previously suspended scheduled strikes in schools and nurseries to allow members to decide on the revised offer from local authority umbrella body Cosla.

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Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser in public services, said on Tuesday that 62 per cent of members working in councils had supported the deal offering a minimum increase of £1.04 per hour for the lowest paid council workers, a rise of 9.6 per cent, and a minimum increase of £1 per hour for their colleagues.

School pupils. David Jones/PA WireSchool pupils. David Jones/PA Wire
School pupils. David Jones/PA Wire

Unite later said 71.38 per cent of its members in a consultative ballot had voted to accept the offer.

The agreement comes just a day after Unison announced its members had rejected the offer, and would now move to a rolling programme of strikes in schools and nurseries in the coming weeks.

Mr Greenaway said: “Our members have now backed this offer which will deliver a fair pay rise for all council workers, but particularly those on the lowest salaries.

“It is not a perfect offer but is a good one and it was right our members, who were ready to strike in support of fair pay, were given the chance to vote on it.

“We have been assured no council services or jobs will be cut to fund this pay offer and will continue to ensure those assurances are kept.”

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s members have voted to accept the revised pay offer. A minimum increase of over £2,000 for the lowest paid will be a welcome boost to the pay packets of our members during this ongoing cost of living crisis.

“Unite’s members should be congratulated for the strong stance they have taken to deliver better jobs, pay and conditions across all Scottish councils.”

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The revised offer represents a minimum increase of £2,006 for those on the Scottish local government living wage, and a minimum of £1,929 for all those above that rate from April 1, 2023, based on a 37-hour week.

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