Scotland’s public sector set for more strikes

Scottish local authorities are bracing themselves for a second day of action next week as Unison announced that its 75,000 members will go on strike again.

The union is in dispute with Scotland’s councils over the below-inflation pay offer of 2.5 per cent (Personnel Today, 5 September).

Unison has rejected a Convention of Scottish Local Authorities “repackaging” of the original offer after a meeting last week. The union announced that industrial action would continue with a further one-day strike on 20 September. This will be followed by selective indefinite action from key groups of employees in all councils across Scotland.

Unison’s Scottish Organiser for Local Government Joe Di Paola said, “CoSLA should understand that our members are serious. Their commitment to local services cannot be exploited in this way. They need fair treatment and fair pay.”

The previous day of action, on 29 August, was reminiscent of the major strikes of the 1970s which brought down the Callaghan government, with rubbish piling up in the streets and most schools closed.

A CoSLA spokeswoman said, “We have had informal discussions with the unions and have said we would be prepared to discuss a 2 per cent rise from 1 April with a 3 per cent rise on 1 October, but Unison rejected that.”

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