Pay offer accepted—looking back on the strike

City Chambers demo on the first day of the 2022 strike. Photo by Craig Maclean.

Today, Unite members accepted the latest pay offer from COSLA, with 71% voting to accept. Read details of the offer and see what it means to you.

Edinburgh waste and cleansing workers led the fight for Scottish local government worker pay.

The strike proved what we knew all along—the undeniable value of waste and cleansing workers, the city’s disease prevention team whose work benefits citizens, businesses and tourists immeasurably, and the power these workers have when organised to take action. The impact was noticed within 12 hours. Edinburgh was turned upside down and this shock made the Scottish Government sit up and take it notice. The action of the waste and cleansing workers brought the First Minister to the table to negotiate a resolution, despite the government’s prior insistence that it had nothing to do with them.

Overwhelmingly, the public stood by us and recognised that our fight is their fight. The attacks on working people in this country are being resisted and we are at the forefront, showing that organised, disciplined workers are ready for the fight for fair pay to weather the cost of living crisis. Edinburgh residents and visitors have shown their support and solidarity, recognising that local government workers are essential, yet unappreciated and unvalued by the Scottish Government.

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Strike pay sessions

Your branch reps will be at the waste depots over the next few days to complete and collect in strike pay forms for all workers that were on strike 18 to 29 August.

Electronic payslips will go out on Thursday 22 September, with paper pay slips following.

New dates – second wave

Bankhead

Friday 7 October 11am to 2pm

Seafield

Wednesday 12 October 12 to 7pm.

What you need to do

Come to any session—doesn’t matter whether it’s your shift or depot, whatever is easiest for you.

You need to have your

  • bank details
  • Council staff number—will be on your payslip
  • Unite membership number—if you don’t have this leave blank and the office will fill it in
  • National Insurance number
  • printed out payslips from August and September.
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Second wave of strike action in Edinburgh starts 6 September—suspended

Photo by Craig Maclean Photography

This action is suspended—see the latest on the pay dispute

Members in Waste and Cleansing will walk out again from Tuesday 6 to Tuesday 13 September as the dispute over local government pay in Scotland continues.

Schools workers in Edinburgh are not on strike.

Striking members should read the strike FAQ and add any questions at the bottom.

Pickets remain as before. See picket locations.

Donate to the strike fund to support these workers.

Latest offer

Continue reading “Second wave of strike action in Edinburgh starts 6 September—suspended”

Edinburgh waste and cleansing strikes start on Thursday

Edinburgh lead the way in industrial action over local government pay

On Thursday 18th, Unite members in Waste and Cleansing in Edinburgh will take industrial action over the insulting pay offer for local government workers.

On Friday, COSLA increased the offer from 2% to 3.5%. All three unions of the Scottish Joint Council—Unite, Unison and GMB—immediately rejected this insulting offer.

The NHS have been offered—and look set to reject—5%, so once again local government is treated as the poor relation of the public sector. Local government workers in England have been offered a rise of £1,925.

We are the first council to take action, with others following on the 24th—details below.

Continue reading “Edinburgh waste and cleansing strikes start on Thursday”

Unite Members in Waste to take action during festival

Unite the Union gave notice today (4th August 2022) that members in Waste (Refuse Collection, Street Cleansing and Recycling Centres) will down tools as of 5am on 18th August and return to work from 4.59am on 30th August.

This action has been forced upon our branch members by the lack of any additional pay offer following the insulting 2% offer made in early spring and cost of living rises reducing the value of their pay.

Waste Workers in Edinburgh have no wish to cause disruption to citizens, tourists and businesses but have been left with no option following the radio silence from CoSLA and the only thing coming out of the scottish government being the old rhetoric of blaming Westminster. Our Waste Workers (Heroes of the Pandemic every one) know full well the scottish government has the capability to support our cash strapped councils to deliver a decent pay rise to council workers.

Further action will occur across Scotland as Unite members in other councils and other unions follow the lead of our Edinburgh Unite Waste Workers. and school workers look to commence their actions.

Council Pay Ballot 2022

Unite members in Schools and Waste across the country have sent a resounding message to councils, cosla and that scottish government that they will not sit back and accept the attempt to push them into poverty through a much lower than inflation pay increase.

These are the workers who kept our country going throughout the pandemic. Those who were clapped on Thursday evenings until people got bored of it.

They are the School Cleaners (the Infection Control Teams), the Refuse Collection, Civic Site and Street Cleansing Workers (the Disease Prevention Units), the School Janitors (the Security and Safety Squads), the School Caterers (the Health and Nutrition Corps), the School Administrators (the Information Security Sections), the Pupil Support Workers and School Technicians (the Education Enablement Divisions).

They are also amongst the lowest paid workers in local government and consequently some of the most acutely affected by the Cost of Living Crisis.

Across the country Unite members in 26 of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities, including our own council, have sent this message. See the Unite the Union main website for more details.

Our branch message to these Key Worker Heroes of the pandemic must be that we all support them in the action that they take as they are the Heroes of our pay dispute and will press the point to the scottish government, cosla and our council that council workers must be given A DECENT PAY RISE.