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:

  • Aberdeen – GMB and Unison
  • Aberdeenshire – Unison
  • Angus – Unison
  • Argyll and Bute – Unite
  • Clackmannanshire – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • Dumfries and Galloway – Unison
  • Dundee – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • East Dumbartonshire – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • East Renfrewshire – Unite and Unison
  • Edinburgh – Unison
  • Falkirk – GMB
  • Fife – Unite and Unison
  • Glasgow – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • Highland – Unison
  • Inverclyde – Unite and Unison
  • Moray – Unison
  • North Ayrshire – Unison and Unite
  • Orkney – Unite, Unison and GMB
  • Perth and Kinross – Unison
  • Renfrewshire – GMB and Unison
  • South Ayrshire – GMB and Unison
  • South Lanarkshire – Unison and Unite
  • Stirling – Unison
  • West Dunbartonshire – Unison

Council pay 101

Workers in the above councils would be striking for the pay of all council workers across Scotland, so it is vital that we show solidarity as they fight for all of our wages.

Any pay offer can only be accept by member voting in a consultative ballot. Members of Unite, Unison and GMB have all resounding rejected the current offer. If a new offer comes through following industrial action, the trade unions can reject this or put it to members for the vote.

Read our guide to local government pay for details.


The rate of inflation indicates how much prices are going up compared to last year. The rate of inflation is now falling, but this does not mean that prices are going down—only that they are increasing at a lesser rate than before. The below video from the TUC is helpful in explaining this.

Considering the culmulative impact of high inflation with under inflation pay rises—in fact pay cuts—council jobs have been significantly devalued over the past 15 years. Our pay can buy much less now than it could 15 years ago, so the fight for a real-terms pay rise is crucial.

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