Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Unions call on Scotland’s new council leaders to settle pay dispute

Bin workers are among the groups of council workers that could be balloted over industrial action next month, Unite said (Steve Parsons/PA)
Bin workers are among the groups of council workers that could be balloted over industrial action next month, Unite said (Steve Parsons/PA)

School staff, care home workers and binmen could all be balloted for industrial action unless there is immediate movement on local authority pay, union chiefs have warned.

With talks taking place in most of Scotland’s councils over the formation of governing administrations, bosses at Unite insisted action on pay for local government workers must be top of their agenda.

The demand for action comes in the wake of council elections last week, which saw only two councils return a majority for a single party – with the SNP winning control of Dundee City Council, while Labour won overall control of West Dunbartonshire Council.

And with new council leaders being installed across the country, Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham said the trade union was “getting battle-ready” in a bid to secure a pay rise for workers.

The union has already conducted a consultative ballot, which found that 91% of its members would be prepared to take industrial action.

And Unite confirmed it is now in the process of targeting selected groups of workers employed in all 32 Scottish authorities, with a view to balloting members in schools, home care and council cleansing departments as early as June.

Ms Graham said: “Unite’s members across local government in Scotland have had enough of year-on-year pay freezes and cuts, which is why we are getting battle-ready to deliver the pay rise they deserve.”

With union members now preparing to vote on strike action, she added that “from the Shetland Islands to the Borders, Unite’s members have their union’s full backing in their fight for decent pay”.

Unite industrial officer Wendy Dunsmore said: “The first thing in the in-tray for the new council leaders is Unite’s warning that unless there is a change of attitude then we will ballot thousands of our members on industrial action.”

She said that leaders of the local authority body Cosla had previously voted against making any further pay offer, accusing them of “treating our members with utter contempt”.

Ms Dunsmore said: “Cosla has proven themselves to possess zero backbone when it comes to standing up against the Scottish Government and demanding that services and workers get the support they deserve.”

A Cosla spokesperson said: “We remain in ongoing negotiations with our trade union partners.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Politics team

More from the Press and Journal