Ahead of talks this morning (Wednesday 3 August) between Scottish Government and COSLA representatives on local government pay, GMB has warned political leaders that tens of thousands of frontline staff are at risk of working poverty unless the 2 per cent offer is significantly improved.
The union, which represents over 20,000 staff across Scotland’s thirty-two local authorities, including thousands of school and waste workers preparing for strikes against the pay offer, also urged the Scottish Government to take more responsibility for the ongoing pay row.
Yesterday, GMB wrote to every MSP warning the consequences of a failure to improve the pay offer, currently the lowest anywhere in the UK public sector, will go far beyond disruptive strike action with profound challenges for service delivery if work does not pay for hard-pressed staff.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Keir Greenaway said:
“Tens of thousands of local government workers are at real risk of falling into working poverty this winter unless a significantly improved pay offer that confronts this cost-of-living crisis is tabled for their consultation – that’s the warning we are sending to political leaders this morning.
“Despite the Deputy First Minister’s plea to the UK Government for more money, the Scottish Government have been content to play politics before when it comes to finding additional support for other areas of our public services, so they can’t divert from the responsibilities they do have.
“The truth is that our political leaders have been sleeping at the wheel on the pay offer for local government because the paltry 2 per cent offer, worth less than a tenner week extra for the lowest paid, was overwhelmingly rejected by staff in March.
“They have already left these key workers at the mercy of soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills for nearly six months, and as we head into a grim winter where these pressures will only rise further, this crisis will become a catastrophe for our members unless the government acts now.”