Aberdeenshire Council workers could be set to strike over pay

Aberdeenshire Council employees who are members of UNISON – Scotland’s largest local government union – are among those involved in a formal industrial action ballot in a dispute over pay.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:41 am
Members of UNISON are being balloted on industrial action.

COSLA, the body representing council employers, had previously offered staff earning less than £25,000 a flat rate rise of £800. Last week COSLA came back with a revised offer of £850.

The union says council staff who have kept services and schools running throughout the pandemic deserve a proper pay rise. They say the latest pay offer does little to address low pay which has become endemic following a decade of austerity.

UNISON intends to take targeted strike action, which means select groups of workers are being balloted. These include members working in school cleaning, catering and janitorial roles, as well as those working in waste and recycling services. This means that, locally, schools could close and rubbish could remain uncollected.

Inez Kirk, Aberdeenshire UNISON Branch Secretary said: “It gives us no pleasure to ballot our members for strike action but the last 18 months have taken an enormous toll on council staff who have been working flat out for no reward.

"Their courage and sacrifices need to be rewarded, yet the employers are failing to recognise their efforts.

“These workers, mostly women, are amongst the lowest paid in the country and have seen their pay drop substantially in recent years.

"The pay offer falls far short of their colleagues in the NHS and local government workers are left feeling exhausted and undervalued. Scotland’s council workers deserve fair pay.”