Pay offer to be imposed—strike suspended (updated 29 November)

Pay deal to be in place from 21 December pay

COSLA Leaders met on Friday and agreed to impose the latest pay offer.

The Council have confirmed that this will be implemented and staff will receive their backpay in the 21 December pay. Read Andrew Kerr’s update, which includes the new salaries and hourly rates.

The latest offer is the same as the previous, but the uplift for some workers (GR5 to the bottom of GR11) that they were due to receive from January 2024, will now be for the full year from April 2023.

Unison suspended all strike action while they consulted their members on this offer. Unison nationally are recommending their members accept the offer, but branches—such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee—are recommending reject.

UPDATE: Unison have accepted the offer with 70% of members voting in favour.

Former employees, claim your pay

Those that have left the Council that worked there between 1 April and 3 December 2023 must complete the leavers pay claim form to receive their back pay.

The deadline for doing this is 9 January so get your claim in as soon as possible to ensure you receive your pay.

Get ready for next year

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Inclusion review—make the review work for you

School support staff UNITE to improve pay, safety and career progression

What does PSA stand for? In this case, Pay, Safety and Advancement—the themes of Unite’s PSA campaign to improve conditions for all school support workers. The on-going Inclusion Review provides the opportunity to propose new

  • job descriptions—which can result in regrading
  • reporting lines
  • structures
  • working patterns.

The formal consultation looks set to launch in January.

We are working with members in scope of the review to ensure the review provides positive outcomes for workers—solutions to the issues you are experiencing, better pay, ensuring your safety at work and the opportunity to advance in your career supporting pupils in school.

Read on to find out about the opportunities to have your say and influence the review.

If you have any questions or comments about the review please submit them in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Events in November

We are hosting an in-person event on 17 November to work with Unite members, and yet to be unionised workers that are in scope for the review.

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Ballot results are in—Unite and GMB accept, Unison reject

Unite accepts COSLA pay deal with 72% in favour

Members of all unions of the Scottish Joint Council—Unite, Unison and GMB—have now had their say on the latest COSLA pay offer:

  • Unite have accepted the deal, with 72% of members in favour.
  • Unison have rejected the deal, with 89% rejecting.
  • GMB have accepted, with 62%.

Unison have promised further industrial action in schools before the end of the year, however details are yet to be publicised.

We now await COSLA’s response.

Pay update—members balloted on new offer

Unison strikes to go ahead.
Unite and GMB suspend their strike action.

COSLA submitted a new offer, noted as their ‘best and final’, on 21 September. Unite, Unison and GMB are balloting their members on the offer.

Unison are going ahead with their planned industrial action in schools next week and are recommending their members reject the offer.

Unite and GMB have suspended all industrial action while they ballot their members to see if they accept or reject the offer.

The offer

From 1 April 2023:

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Pay update—offer rejected and first wave of school strikes to go ahead

All schools in Edinburgh to close on 26, 27 and 28 September due to strike action

Unison members working in schools in Edinburgh will be on strike on 26, 27 and 28 September. This is the first wave of strikes in the fight for a fair pay deal for local government workers across Scotland, with workers in schools across Scotland striking on these dates.

Here, we address the frequently asked questions. Let us know if you have any others by commenting below and we’ll answer them here. We’ve split the details in to what is happening in Edinburgh and the national context.

In Edinburgh

What happens on the strike days?

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Pay update—Members in education ready to strike across Scotland

Unite members working in schools and early years now have a mandate to strike in 12 councils across Scotland. GMB similarly have a mandate to strike in 10 councils. Unison’s ballot closed on 25 August and they have a mandate to strike in 24 councils. This means there are strike mandates for 25 of Scotland’s 32 councils.

The three unions will meet at the end of the month to discuss the plan for industrial action in the fight for this year’s pay deal. The offer on the table is the first one COSLA made—between 5 and 7% depending on where you are on the pay scale.

In Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, we didn’t get the 50% turnout required in order to strike. Neither did the GMB.

Unison’s ballot closed on 25 August and they have achieved a mandate to strike.

Members should read our guide on what to do when others are on strike to understand their rights and what they can do to support the strikers.

Councils that may strike

The list below shows which unions have a mandate to strike in which council. Some Unite councils are reballoting members, so this may grow:

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Council worker strikes loom over the World Cycling Championship

First strike wave over council pay to hit Glasgow on 3 August

In June, Unite, Unison and the GMB balloted local government members to take action to disrupt the World Cycling Championships 2023, which take place across Scotland from 3 to 13 August. GMB and Unite now have mandates to strike, covering parking wardens and staff at the Emirates area.

The event kicks off in Glasgow 0n the 3rd, when the first day of industrial will take place. Read about Unite’s strike action.

The purpose of the industrial action is to bring the Scottish Government to the table to improve the pay offer. COSLA have had ample opportunity go to the government to request funding to improve the offer on the table, but they have refused to do so. The current offer averages between a 5.5 and 7.5% pay increase for council workers. With inflation (RPI) sitting at 10.7% and food inflation around 20%, this amounts to a real-terms pay cut and further devalues council worker jobs, following over a decade of pay cuts.

Schools ballot

The cycle race is the first wave of strike action to get a fair pay deal for council workers. The second wave will be schools.

The ballot for all workers in schools opened on 19 June and closes on 31 July.

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