Falkirk Council employees to be balloted on strike action

Members of the Unison trade union will be balloted for strike action as part of an on-going battle with bosses over pay and workloads

Members of the Unison trade union will be balloted for strike action as part of an on-going battle with bosses over pay and workloads

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Thousands of Falkirk Council workers are to be balloted on strike action after rejecting a one per cent pay offer.

The public services union Unison is gearing up for industrial action in an on-going battle with bosses over pay and work-
loads.

Social workers, librarians, school janitors, cooks and cleaners, bin men and environmental protection staff employed by town halls across the country will be asked if they are prepared to withdraw their labour to win a better deal.

All local government staff will be balloted from July 3 to August 13.

Stephanie Herd, chair of Unison’s local government committee, said: “Members are angry about a miserly one per cent offer following two years of a pay freeze. The year before that they only received 0.65 per cent and over this period the value of their pay has gone down by nearly 13 per cent while the cost of food and heating has soared.

“Council staff work hard delivering quality public services. They are overstretched after more than 34,500 local government jobs have gone. They are underpaid and see the wealthiest people in the countgry getting ever richer. Our members deserve fair pay and we believe they will vote for strike action to put pressure on employers to improve the offer.”

Unison is calling for Cosla to commit to an annual increase in the Scottish Local Government Living Wage of £7.50 an hour. The offer on the table from employers includes the Living Wage which the unions have campaigned for, but no annual uplift.

Dougie Black, Unison’s lead negotiator in local government, said: “We tried to get the employers back for talks after members voted to reject the offer but they refused. It’s clear our members don’t believe one per cent is fair. They also lost out because they did not receive the £250 increase for the lowest paid NHS and civil service staff in the last two years which was supposed to soften the blow of the pay freeze.”