Thousands of Scottish council workers will get a £500 early Christmas present as one local authority revealed it is breaking ranks in a long-running national pay dispute.

Glasgow City Council has decided to go against the advice of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) and provide its 26,000 workforce with back pay for a 3% pay increase for this year that only one union, Unison, has accepted.

It means the typical city council worker will get a £500 pre-Christmas back-pay windfall, at a cost to the council of £13m.

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It is understood Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire councils are considering following suit.

Scottish council tax payers are facing more crippling strike action over the winter after the GMB and Unite unions turned down the cross-Scotland pay offer put forward by employers' group Cosla.

A Glasgow City Council source said: "What we are going to do is pay this money before Christmas, because we are in the middle of a credit crunch. Retailers are screaming out for people to spend money in the shops and we are sitting on £13m of workers' money."

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