ONE-THIRD of Scotland's "double-jobbing" MSPs are continuing to collect salaries from council jobs, four months after being elected to £58,000-a-year posts at Holyrood.

Despite most of the 23 parliamentarians with dual mandates either donating their £16,000-plus council salaries to charities and “good causes” or refusing to collect it, others from across the political spectrum have yet to take the same approach.

When contacted by The Herald this week, those MSPs still picking up two salaries said they were “planning” to donate them, had made private arrangements or refused to comment.

They include Labour, SNP and LibDem MSPs. All have ruled out any by-election, with just over eight months to next year’s municipal elections.

Unions have criticised those still collecting the salaries, which comes at a time of unprecedented redundancies and reductions in workers’ terms and conditions and four months after The Herald revealed those 23 MSPs with dual mandates.

Martin Doran, who heads the GMB union in Glasgow, said: “At a time when councils are being prudent in how they are dealing with staff, my feeling is that this is an obscenity. If these people had any decency they would stand down.”

Unison’s Scottish organiser Dave Watson said: “We’ve always taken the view that working at the Scottish Parliament is a public job and perhaps those with other commitments would be wise to review their position.”

Among those still collecting their council salary are new Glasgow MSPs Hanzala Malik, who refused to comment but information from the city council shows he is still drawing it, and colleague Anne McTaggart, who is “finalising arrangements” to donate to local organisations.

Also in the process of “finalising plans” for charitable donations are West of Scotland Labour MSPs Mary Fee and Neil Bibby. The SNP’s Jean Urquhart said she will be giving the money to good causes, while party colleague Bill Walker has made “private arrangements to take care of any additional windfall income from the council”.

The LibDem South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume, who has had a dual mandate since 2007, was unavailable for comment but his register of interests shows he still collects up to £20,000 a year from his local government role.

SNP dual mandators David Torrance, Kevin Stewart, Angus MacDonald, Mark McDonald, James Dornan and Colin Keir have said they are already donating their council salaries to various good causes.

Green Edinburgh MSP Alison Johnstone said she is not drawing her council salary, an approach also taken by Labour’s Neil Findlay, Mark Griffin and John Pentland and SNP members Clare Adamson, John Finnie, Colin Beattie and Richard Lyle.

After the election two SNP parliamentarians, Derek MacKay and George Adam, declared their intention to remain as councillors until next year but made plans to give away their salaries.

Several asked whether they were staying on until the 2012 elections cited the cost of a by-election as a core reason for keeping the two jobs.

Labour said there was a rule against dual mandates and those with them had to stand down at the next available election.

An SNP spokeswoman said: “SNP councillors elected as MSPs in May are all taking steps to ensure they receive no personal benefit from their salaries either by putting in place arrangements for donations with many making donations already or ensuring the local authority transfers the funds directly to projects in their ward.”

A LibDem spokeswoman said: “It’s preferable if MSPs don’t have a dual mandate but it’s quality that counts and Jim Hume is a hardworking councillor and MSP.”