Pay offer rejected and strike ballot launched

Strike ballot opens on 5 June for action in July

COSLA finally came to the unions of the SJC (Unison, Unite and GMB) with a paltry pay offer for 2024/25 on Friday. Unite’s local government committee rejected this offer.

The offer is 2.2% raise from 1 April 2024 and a further 2% uplift from 1 October 2024 to 30 September 2025.

This is an 18-month offer, with COSLA looking to change the pay anniversary from 1 April to 1 October.

Download the letter from COSLA (PDF)

Preparing to strike

Today, Unite served notice to COSLA that we will be launching an industrial action ballot in Waste and Cleansing.

The ballot opens on 5 June and closes on 1 July. This could mean strike action mid-July.

Unite are balloting 29 of Scotland’s 32 councils—with only East Lothian, Orkney and Clackmannanshire not being balloted.

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COSLA play politics over pay offer

We still have not received a pay offer from COSLA. The Scottish Joint Council (SJC, consisting of Unite, Unison and the GMB) submitted our pay claim in January.

The pay deal is supposed to be implemented in April, yet COSLA still have not presented their first offer and have now taken to the internet to play politics and point fingers at the unions in a recent post on the COSLA website for ‘going public’ with the lack of progress.

The unions have gone public because COSLA have so little respect for the workforce that they can’t make a pay offer in a timely manner.

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Pay 2024 update: Support your striking colleagues to win fair pay for all

We are currently awaiting an offer from COSLA regarding this years pay. Unite have urged COSLA and the Scottish Government to make us a suitable pay offer that we can submit to our members in a consultative ballot.

The headline in our claim is £1.60 per hour or 7% —whichever is greater. Most councils have only budgeted for 3% this year, so more funding will be required.

Strategy for action

Unite’s Scottish Local Government Committee have started their ‘stategy for action’ campaign to ensure you receive the pay rise you deserve. We have decided to focus on Waste and Cleansing as the area to take industrial action if needed.

Everyone will remember the courage, strength and solidarity of our Waste and Cleansing workers 2 years ago which secured a wage deal which brought in over £450m of additional funding and saw a real terms pay rise for the lowest paid council workers. Since then they have grown stronger in numbers.

Support the colleagues that fight for YOUR pay

We call on all members to fully support the action that may have to be taken by our Waste and Cleansing members. Remember, they will be standing up for your pay.

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Pay claim 2024

Unions call for a rise of £1.60 per hour or 7%—whichever is highest

On 25 January, we submitted our pay claim to COSLA for this year’s Scottish local government pay deal.

We are calling for a one-year deal with

  • a rise of £1.60 per hour or 7%, whichever is greater
  • a call for early negotiations to ensure the pay deal is implemented by 1 April

Download the full pay claim for 2024/25 (PDF).

The Council are only budgeting for a 3% pay rise, but they are already doubting that this is enough—see 4.11 in the budget report to the Finance and Resources Committee.

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Preparing the pay claim

Thank you to every member who took part in our PAY 24 survey.

The workers that mostly engaged with us were in Waste and Cleansing and Social Care.

The feedback was that most members

  • want a flat rate increase, rather than percentage
  • work a 37-hour week
  • see improving pay as the prority
  • see a 4-day working week as the second most important thing to campaign for.

Next steps

We will now create a pay claim and share it with Unison and GMB, so we can agree a claim to submit to COSLA within the next couple weeks.

We will look for the claim to include

  • a flat-rate pay rise
  • a shorter working week
  • a trial of a 4-day week, with no loss of pay
  • a quick settlement.