Unison’s decision to push ahead with industrial action this week has been blasted by a senior official from another union.

GMB organiser Chris Mitchell described the walkout as “strange” and said it would leave some of Scotland’s lowest-paid workers losing money.

Following an eleventh-hour "best and final” offer from Cosla, the umbrella body for Scotland’s councils, GMB and Unite both suspended the stikes, due to start on Tuesday for three days.

Both have put the new deal to their members in a vote and recommended it be accepted.

Unison, whose membership includes higher-earning council workers than the GMB and Unite, will also ballot their members, however, they are still pushing ahead with the walkout.

READ MORE: Unison warns of further school strikes

In a video, Mr Mitchell, GMB Glasgow convener, questioned the decision: “For some strange reason, Unison are wanting to continue it. What it looks to me is you’re asking low-paid workers to come out on strike against their colleagues in GMB and Unite, putting people in a predicament, not crossing picket lines. People standing on picket lines. 

“And to be honest, low-paid workers are being asked to subsidise the middle earners to get them more money.”

He added: “I hope that we can come together again because we need to be a united front here. We can't have a divide and conquer within the trade union movement.

"Look at what we have achieved and done over the last two years. We have stood together and we have fought together.

“I would encourage Unison to rethink this and let's get back round the table, let's put that offer to the membership and let them decide.”

There was also criticism from Unite's branch in East Dunbartonshire, who described Unison’s decision as “bizarre.”

They even recommended their members cross the picket lines and work rather than lose out on wages.

Though the advice was later rejected by Unite's HQ. A spokesman said: “This is not official Unite guidance. Under no circumstances are we advising our members to cross the official picket lines of any trade union taking strike action.”

Cosla says the offer represents a minimum wage increase of £2,006 for those on the Scottish Government’s living wage and a minimum increase of £1,929 for workers who are earning above the living wage.

Unison has described it as “too little, too late”. They say that the new offer is not backed new money, which will inevitably mean cuts. 

Responding to Mr Mitchell's video, Unison Scotland’s Mark Ferguson said: “Unison is continuing with schools’ strikes next week. As the largest union in local government across Scotland, Unison represents council and school workers in all roles.

“Our local government committee, made up of local government workers, rejected the revised Cosla offer as it short-changed the majority of council workers. And Unison's commitment to winning a £15 per hour minimum rate for all local government roles, wasn’t satisfactorily addressed.

“Furthermore, the failure to provide any new money to back this offer means further service cuts and job losses. Unison will not accept a position where the union is asked to trade pay for jobs and services."

READ MORE: Unite blasts Unison's 'bizarre' decision not to call off school strike

Meanwhile, trade unionists have hit back at SNP politicians who claim Unison’s decision not to suspend this week’s school strikes was political.

SNP figures have suggested that it is because Johanna Baxter, the local government negotiator with Unison, is the chair of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC).

An SNP source told the pro-independence paper, The National: “The fact that [Unison’s] chief negotiator, Ms Baxter, is the chair of Labour NEC and a prominent member of the Starmerite wing of their party might raise questions about whose interests she is working in.

“Her members are unlikely to be pleased if they believe their pay packet is taking a hit to score political points in an upcoming by-election.”

Roz Foyer, the general secretary of the STUC said the suggestion was “totally unacceptable.”

Unison, she said, was “carrying out the democratic decisions of its members.”

“This dispute is about fair pay and funding of essential services. It should not be viewed through a lens of petty party politics.”

UNISON Scotland tweeted: “Our latest offer decision was made by an elected committee of local government workers representing all Scottish local authorities.”