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New chamber pay offer made to end strike activity in Scotland

Twenty local authorities, including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, walked out

Twenty local authorities, including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, walked out

Another compensation bargain has been made to attempt to resolve a board pay debate that has prompted canister strikes around Scotland.

Three associations engaged with dealings with neighborhood authority umbrella body Cosla are currently examining the proposition.

Canister strikes have hit 66% of Scotland’s 32 committees and refuse is developing in numerous town and downtown areas.

Many schools and nurseries are planned to close for three days one week from now as a component of the modern activity.

Subtleties of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

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Individuals recruiting skips and utilizing showers to store waste
Associations are looking for an understanding like the one made to gathering laborers in England, which incorporated a £1,925 level rate pay increment.

They say that offering a rate pay rise would mean the most cash would go to the best paid staff.

Overflowing bins in EdinburghIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,

Edinburgh’s strike is due to end on Tuesday morning but more action is planned next week

If the new offer is accepted by the unions they will then put it to their members. The current round of strikes is due to end on Wednesday in many local authority areas, and at 04:59 in Edinburgh.

The first bin strike began in the capital city on 18 August, in the midst of festival season, after the unions – the GMB, Unite and Unison – rejected an initial pay offer equivalent to a 3.5% increase.

It escalated last week when refuse workers at a further 20 local authorities, including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, walked out despite a revised 5% offer.

If the action is not called off, a second wave of strikes, which will include school and nursery closures, is due to begin next week in a bid to

“achieve a significantly improved pay offer”.

 

 

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Cosla spokeswoman Katie Hagmann refused to confirm the offer had been made, but said:

“We remain in intense active discussions with our trade union colleagues.”

The Scottish government has given an additional £140m to councils to help fund a pay increase for staff. and urged both sides to seek a “fair resolution” to the dispute.

Ben MacPherson, minister for social security and local government, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that after

“constructive discussions over recent days”

Cosla had met with local government leaders to discuss a

“potential proposition”.

However, he said:

“It would not be appropriate for the Scottish government to comment further beyond continuing to encourage both sides to continue to seek that fair resolution to the dispute that we all want to see as soon as possible.”

Mr MacPherson added:

“We are not the employer in this situation but we’re engaged with local government leaders and we want to see a resolution to this just like everyone else.”

Tourists pose for pictures beside overflowing bins in EdinburghIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,

Tourists pose for pictures beside overflowing bins in Edinburgh

Meanwhile, City of Edinburgh Council said additional resources would be deployed to support the clean up on Tuesday, when the strike ends in the captial.

Council leader Cammy Day said: “This dispute has brought the value of our waste and cleansing teams – and their right to fair wage – into sharp focus and I’m delighted they’ll be back out from Tuesday, helping to return our city to its best.

“While they’ll be working hard to catch up on collections and making every effort to collect litter across the city, it’ll take time for things to return to normal.

“Please bear with them as they do so and, if you can store your extra waste safely for a little longer or are able to book an appointment at a recycling centre, please do so.”

Residents are being asked to put their bins out as normal on their scheduled collection day, when extra waste will be collected if it is bagged.

Public Health Scotland has warned of a human health risk from overflowing waste, and advised councils to decontaminate areas where bins have overflowed.

Professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh Linda Bauld told BBC Scotland their concerns included pests and vermin that are attracted to waste, bacteria, and the effects on surface water.

“There certainly could be an opportunity for germs and bacteria to spread if we don’t sort this out,”

she said.

She warned people not to touch the waste.

“I know people are trying to still shove things in the bins if there is a bit of space – don’t do that and if you do please use a hand sanitiser or wash your hands,”

Prof Bauld added.

The three unions are meeting today to discuss the improved pay offer from councils.

Talks over the past four days have been described as constructive.

But there is a real question mark over whether the unions will accept the revised pay offer.

They have argued strongly for a “flat cash offer” – the same amount of money as a pay rise for all staff. £1,925 per person is likely to be seen as a line in the sand for them.

They will be discussing what the new pay offer will mean for lower paid workers. One question is likely to be about whether some of the lowest paid will really be better off overall.

Some low paid staff are also in receipt of universal credit. One union source expressed a concern that some lower paid staff could end up worse off if the pay rise meant they would lose their universal credit.

But if the offer is good enough, they may agree to put it to their members to see if they will accept it.

The current round of strikes is due to end by Wednesday – it is possible they could be called off early as a token of goodwill.

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