School strikes ‘one step closer’ after pay offer rejected

Strikes have moved “a step closer” after school support staff and refuse workers rejected a pay offer.

Ninety-five per cent of members who participated in GMB Scotland’s consultative ballot over the 2021 proposal from council representative body COSLA voted to reject an £850 increase for local government staff earning up to £25,000 a year.

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The union will now move to a full industrial action ballot of nearly 10,000 members employed in schools and refuse/cleansing services, increasing the possibility of autumn strikes.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services, Drew Duffy, said: “COSLA bosses have failed to table to a pay offer that reflects decent value for many workers who have been part of the frontline response to Covid-19.

“The prospect of an increase that would amount to little more than £15 a week extra in the pockets of workers like school cleaners and refuse collectors has been rightly and resoundingly rejected.”

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He added: “COSLA’s dither and delay means local government staff across Scotland are still mired on pre-pandemic pay rates – there has been no “thank you” for these workers.

“It means the threat of strikes this autumn, disrupting schools and community services like waste collection and street cleansing, is now a step closer.”

COSLA has been approached for comment.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992