Council strikes Scotland: The Scottish councils facing potential strike action - here's what you need to know
Trade unions have warned “waste could pile high” in local authorities across Scotland after three unions confirmed their members will walk out over a “shameful” pay offer.
Council workers in the GMB, Unite and Unison across a number of councils in Scotland will walk out over a 2% pay increase offered to them by Cosla – the body representing local authorities.
In order to strike, workers in union branches need to back industrial action and exceed the required 50% turnout threshold required by the Trade Union Act.
Schools, early years workers and cleansing departments will down tools with dates yet to be confirmed.
What workers are going on strike in Scottish Councils?
A number of council workers could go on strike depending on what union represents them.
Workers from UNISON branches in the following councils will be going on strike after they met the required threshold.
City of Glasgow Orkney Islands Council Aberdeenshire Council East Renfrewshire Council North Lanarkshire Council South Lanarkshire Council Clackmannanshire Council Stirling Council Inverclyde
Unison group members include employees from councils, schools, further education and the Food Standards Agency.
Workers in waste and recycling were also part of the ballot for the GMB Union with a strike potentially leaving rubbish "piling up in the streets" if workers do not get a better offer.
GMB workers are also set to strike in the following areas meaning that waste could remain uncollected, while schools in councils including Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, and Renfrewshire could close when strike dates are confirmed.
Aberdeen City – Waste and Schools Angus – Waste; City of Edinburgh – Waste Comhairle Nan Eilean – Schools Dundee City – Waste and Schools East Ayrshire – Waste East Dunbartonshire – Waste and Schools East Lothian – Waste East Renfrewshire – Schools Falkirk – Waste Fife – Waste (Fife Resource Solutions) Glasgow City – Waste & Schools Highland – Waste Inverclyde – Waste Midlothian – Waste North Ayrshire – Waste North Lanarkshire – Waste Orkney Islands – Waste Perth & Kinross – Waste Renfrewshire – Waste and Schools Scottish Borders – Waste South Ayrshire – Waste South Lanarkshire – Waste West Dunbartonshire – Waste West Lothian – Waste
Unite also confirmed that their members in a number of Scottish Councils will also go on strike and be finalising the strike dates in the coming week with action in refuse and waste services expected to begin in mid-August.
Action specifically impacting schools is expected to begin in early September.
The trade union which represents thousands of local government workers balloted its members in schools and cleansing across all Scottish councils and confirmed that the following 26 councils are now set to be hit by industrial action.
Aberdeen – Waste Aberdeenshire – Waste Angus – Waste and Schools Argyll and Bute – Waste City of Edinburgh – Waste and Schools Clackmannanshire – Waste Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – Schools Dumfries and Galloway – Waste Dundee City – Waste and Schools East Ayrshire – Waste and Schools East Dunbartonshire – Waste and Schools East Lothian – Waste East Renfrewshire – Waste and Schools Falkirk – Waste Fife – Waste Glasgow City – Waste and Schools Inverclyde – Waste and Schools Highland – Waste North Ayrshire – Waste North Lanarkshire – Schools Orkney – Schoos Renfrewshire – Waste and Schools South Ayrshire – Waste South Lanarkshire – Waste and Schools West Lothian – Waste and Schools
When will the strikes be held?
Representatives from Unison, Unite and GMB are meeting later to discuss when to hold the strikes and which workers they will "take out".
Johanna Baxter, head of local government at Unison Scotland told BBC Radio Scotland: “It's likely that schools would return from the holidays, it may be that we would then take action following their return.
"Bear in minds these councils are some of the largest in Scotland. This is likely to affect hundreds of schools across the country."
What do the Unions want?
Members in all councils across Scotland voted to reject the pay offer of 2% and secured turnouts surpassing the statutory 50% threshold for public sector ballots.
Unison, along with Unite and GMB unions – who also represent council workers, have asked for a £3,000 increase and a £12 an hour rate as a minimum for all council workers.
Cosla leaders will meet on Friday and the Unison says they “must” put forward an improved offer on the table to avoid disruption to council services across Scotland.
Johanna Baxter, Unison head of local government, said: “Council workers south of the border yesterday were offered a flat rate uplift of £1,925, which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5% increase.
“You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly 2% increase when the cost of living continues to spiral.
“It is clear now that local government workers have had enough and are prepared to strike in the coming weeks unless we see a sensible offer, from Cosla, on the table on Friday.
What have the Scottish Government said?
A Scottish government spokesman said: "Pay settlements for council workers - excluding teachers - are a matter for Cosla and are determined through negotiations at the Scottish Joint Committee (SJC).
"As it is not a member of the SJC, the Scottish government cannot directly intervene in pay negotiations, which are for the trade unions to negotiate with Cosla.
"The Scottish government urges all parties to continue dialogue and seek a resolution which avoids industrial action."