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Trade unions demand 6.5% council workers' pay rise

The pay rise is being sought by three of the country's biggest unions.

Workers: Council staff have faced a real terms pay cut in recent years.
Workers: Council staff have faced a real terms pay cut in recent years. SWNS

Scotland's largest trade unions are lobbying councils to give their staff a 6.5% pay rise for the next financial year.

Representatives from Unite, Unison and GMB met with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) to discuss the forthcoming pay offer on Friday.

Unison has described the demand as a "realistic" settlement to make up for the real terms cuts its members have endured for a decade.

The organisation wants staff to either receive 6.5% or £1500, whichever is greater.

Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland's head of local government bargaining, said: "Our members, working hard to deliver a good public service in local authorities across the country, should be covered by this commitment.

"This claim is therefore both realistic and in line with the government's stated objective of lifting the pay cap for public sector workers."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1405038-councils-hand-out-627m-in-golden-goodbyes-to-staff/ | default

She added: "Our local government worker members have suffered a real-terms loss in pay over the past ten years of some 15%.

"It is only right therefore that this year's pay settlement must protect workers from the sharp rise in inflation, start to reverse the many years of real-terms cuts to wages through pay restoration, and protect the lowest paid."

Cosla resources spokeswoman councillor Gail Macgregor said: "We met with the trade unions today. This was the first meeting in relation to this year's pay award.

"We will take the claim away and consider it carefully, obviously taking full cognisance that, as employers, our pay awards have to be both sustainable and affordable."

The pay negotiations follow the finance secretary's pledge in his budget to give Scottish Government workers a minimum increase of 3% for those earning £30,000 a year or less.

Those earning between £30,000 and £80,000 should receive up to 2%, while any rise for those on salaries above this should be limited to £1600.

Mackay's spending plans, if passed, will result in a £157.3m councils' resource budgets.

As well as the pay rise, Unison are also calling for more funding for local authorities.

Baxter described the situation as "untenable".

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1404866-councils-will-have-to-make-cuts-admits-minister/ | default

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