Pay offer made to Scotland’s council workers

Local government body Cosla said it had made a ‘strong, fair and credible’ pay offer to workers in Scotland.

Council leaders have made what they insist is a ‘strong, fair and credible’ pay offer to local government workers
Council leaders have made what they insist is a ‘strong, fair and credible’ pay offer to local government workers (Jane Barlow/PA)

Council workers in Scotland have been offered a two-part pay deal, which local government leaders insist is at the “limit” of what they can afford.

Cosla, which represents Scotland’s 32 local authorities, said the “strong, fair and credible” pay offer had been made following “very constructive” talks.

However Unison, the largest local government union in Scotland, insisted the deal being put forward “falls short of the level local government workers deserve” and said it would be recommending staff reject the offer.

The 18-month deal, which covers the period April 1 2024 to September 30 2025, would see council staff get a 2.2% pay hike from April this year, with a further 2% increase at the start of October 2024.

It comes as care workers in both the GMB Scotland and Unite unions are being balloted on strike action, in a vote which closes on June 19.

A Cosla spokesperson insisted however that there had been a number of “very constructive” meetings of the Scottish Joint Council steering group – which brings together the unions along with councils.

These have resulted in the formal pay offer being made to local government workers – with the spokesperson stressing the deal is “at the limit” of what councils can afford.

The spokesperson said: “This offer fully utilises the negotiating mandate provided by Cosla leaders and is at the limit of affordability, given the severe financial constraints councils are facing in the context of a flat cash local government settlement.

“We believe that this is a strong, fair, and credible offer which reflects the high value council leaders place on the local government workforce and the invaluable work they do every day to serve our communities.”

However Colette Hunter, chairwoman of Unison Scotland’s local government committee, said: “The offer falls short of the level local government workers deserve and the union is recommending staff vote to reject it when they are consulted next week.

“Workers have seen the value of their pay fall over the past 10 years, while often being asked to do even more.

“They provide vital services to their communities by caring for the most vulnerable, educating children, waste and recycling, and keeping people safe.

“Council workers need a pay rise that reflects this.”