Unite rejects ‘paltry’ COSLA pay offer as waste strikes set to start

Unite the union has confirmed that its representative committee involving local government workers has formally rejected the latest COSLA pay offer.

Unite’s Aberdeenshire members will strike this week.
Unite’s Aberdeenshire members will strike this week.

Unite said that the 3.5 per cent offer announced by COSLA on Friday (August 12) was ‘nowhere near good enough’ which is also a position supported by several council leaders including those in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Unite will be the largest trade union in terms of members involved in this initial phase of council strike action to hit all waste services.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s local government representatives have rejected the paltry offer of 3.5% from COSLA.

"The offer is nowhere near good enough.

"Council leaders across Scotland are publicly on the record acknowledging this reality so why should our members even consider it.

"We make no apologies for standing up for our members because they deserve better than what they are getting from the politicians.

"Unite will always defend the jobs, pay and conditions of its members.”

Last week, Unite announced a ‘second wave’ of strike action to hit all waste services in 14 councils.

It is estimated that around 1,500 Unite members across these councils will go on strike.

The days of strike action in these 14 councils, including Aberdeenshire, will begin on August 24 and end on August 31.

Unite regional officer Wendy Dunsmore said: “We have the pathetic spectacle of COSLA and the Scottish Government doing a Hokey Cokey dance as they blame each other for the unacceptable pay offer.

" The fact is both of them are equally to blame.

"Our members are fed-up with this politicking because all they want is an offer put on the table which reflects their hard work, and helps them deal with the cost of living crisis hurting families across Scotland.”

It is reported that more than half of Scotland’s 250,000 council workers are earning less than £25,000 a year for a 37-hour week.