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Hebrides News

Council staff are to be balloted over a possible strike following a pay dispute.

Trade union Unison said it would ballot 70,000 local government members across every local authority in Scotland on industrial action.

Nearly 78% of members who took part in a consultative reject the employers’ pay offer.

Dougie Black, regional organiser for Unison Scotland, said: “Local government workers have suffered years of pay restraint and their pay is worth far less now than ten years ago.

“The cost of food, gas and electricity, travel and childcare continue to rise and, as a consequence, their living standards have been severely eroded. This can not continue.

“If pay had even just risen with inflation a home care worker, for example, would be paid £19,900 a year when instead they are paid just £16,900; an early years’ worker would receive £24,100 instead of £20,400 and a library assistant would earn £26,400 instead of £22,400. And that’s just to keep up with the cost of living.

“Fair pay remains a priority for Unison. Our members are the cogs that keep local government services turning and they deserve to be treated fairly.”

A spokesperson for local authority body, Cosla, said it was “baffled and extremely disappointed” over the Unison’s decision to reject “the best package on offer” to any local council workforce in the UK.

Cosla pointed out other council worker unions, GMB and Unite, accepted the deal.

Council workers may strike over pay  

14 April 2017