Strikes have moved "a step closer" after school support staff and refuse workers rejected a pay offer.

Ninety-five per cent of members who participated in GMB Scotland’s consultative ballot over the 2021 proposal from council representative body COSLA voted to reject an £850 increase for local government staff earning up to £25,000 a year.

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The union will now move to a full industrial action ballot of nearly 10,000 members employed in schools and refuse/cleansing services, increasing the possibility of autumn strikes.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services, Drew Duffy, said: “COSLA bosses have failed to table to a pay offer that reflects decent value for many workers who have been part of the frontline response to Covid-19.

“The prospect of an increase that would amount to little more than £15 a week extra in the pockets of workers like school cleaners and refuse collectors has been rightly and resoundingly rejected."

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He added: “COSLA’s dither and delay means local government staff across Scotland are still mired on pre-pandemic pay rates – there has been no “thank you” for these workers.

“It means the threat of strikes this autumn, disrupting schools and community services like waste collection and street cleansing, is now a step closer.”

COSLA has been approached for comment.