SCOTS schools face being shut in a targeted strike as thousands of council workers across Scotland for industrial action.

Members of the public services union Unison in all councils across Scotland overwhelmingly voted to reject the final 2% pay offer by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) - which acts as an employers' association.

The union said nine local authority branches exceeded the required 50% turnout threshold required by the Trade Union Act.

Scotland's largest local government union said the action which will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across Scotland, in the largest strike ballot amongst council workers in over a decade.

The Unison branches that met the required threshold are the City of Glasgow, Orkney Islands Council, Aberdeenshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council and Inverclyde.

Johanna Baxter, Unison head of local government said: “COSLA leaders meet on Friday and must put an improved offer on the table if we are to avoid large-scale disruption to council services across Scotland.


"Council workers south of the border yesterday were offered a flat rate uplift of £1925, which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5% increase. You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly 2% increase when the cost of living continues to spiral. Unison have been calling for a flat rate payment to help those on lower incomes. Most council workers earn less than £25k per year.

"It is clear now that local government workers have had enough and are prepared to strike in the coming weeks unless we see a sensible offer, from COSLA, on the table on Friday. This is the largest strike ballot by local government workers in over a decade and the first-time workers across Scotland have voted to take strike action in these numbers. It really shouldn't take this for them to receive the recognition, respect and reward that they deserve.”

Trade unions representing 200,000 local government workers across Scotland have already written to COSLA to say that councils have failed to come up with an acceptable pay offer for workers whose pay has been "held down for too many years".

Union sources revealed any future strike is likely to be targeted to areas where there will have the "highest impact", and to ensure that any strike meets strict legal thresholds over turnout - and schools are top of the agenda.

A potentially embarrassing strike over last year's pay claim involving thousands of binmen, fleet maintenance, school cleaning, school janitorial, and recycling was due to take place between November 8 and 12, as Glasgow was hosting COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference.


Scotland's second city welcomed over 100 leaders including US president Joe Biden for the political stage of the UN summit at a time it was already blighted by rubbish, fly-tipping and reports of rats in the streets.

But on the eve of the conference and after more than 10 months of negotiations money was found for an improved pay offer which was accepted.

The trade unions had written to the Scottish Government condemning its decision not to provide additional funding to COSLA to improve the local government pay offer.

The issue is around a proposed 2% pay rise with a 20p rise in the minimum hourly wage at £9.98 - 8p more than the real Living Wage - while inflation was running at 7%. There was concern that the rise was inequitably benefitting higher paid workers while the 50% who earn less than £25,000-a-year were losing out.

The union said that those earning over £40,000 a year - 12% of the local government workforce - would get an increase of more than £800 a year, while some will get as much as £2000 more. Meanwhile those who earn below £25,000 would get a pay increase of just about £500.

They say after years of below inflation pay awards, council workers should be given a one-year £3,000 flat rate pay rise for the next financial year, and for the minimum rate of pay to be increased to £12 per hour.

They also want an agreement that in future all allowances are automatically uprated in line with October inflation rates.