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by Kirsteen Paterson
29 September 2022
Council strikes over as trade unions accept higher pay deal

Refuse workers in Glasgow

Council strikes over as trade unions accept higher pay deal

A pay dispute that triggered summer strikes has been settled after trade union members voted "overwhelmingly" to accept an improved deal.

Refuse workers began industrial action in August, with the dispute spreading to non-teaching school staff.

Members of the GMB, Unison and Unite unions rejected a "derisory" 3.5 per cent pay increase put forwards by local government umbrella body Cosla.

However, a revised offer brokered with the involvement of the Scottish Government has now been accepted by members of all three unions. The acceptance by Unison and Unite members comes one week after GMB announced the same decision.

The £600m package has been made possible through increased funding from the Scottish Government.

It will fully consolidate £2,000 for those earning up to £20,500 - the equivalent of a 10/11 per cent uplift - and will be backdated to April. The package also includes an extra day of annual leave and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration fee, something Unite made a key demand.

Unison Scotland's Johanna Baxter said of members: "It was their collective strength that forced the Scottish Government to accept they had a role to play and come up with more money, but it should never have got to that."

Sharon Graham of Unite said members "should be congratulated for the brave stand they took".

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