Two of our three trade unions voted to accept the pay offer made on 21stSeptember – at that point, there was no additional money available to increase that offer.
After intensive talks, the Scottish Government has identified a mechanism to underwrite limited additional one-off funding which can meet the extra demands of Unison. This will now allow Councils to put additional funding into the offer, allowing all elements of the current offer to be backdated. Leaders recognise the importance of getting money into the pockets of our workforce as early as possible and today’s decisions will hopefully make that possible.
Given that an extremely strong offer was made to our trade unions back in April and then revised in September, it is disappointing that reaching agreement has taken so long. But the priority of Leaders today is ensuring that nobody is left out of pocket ahead of the winter period, especially given the ongoing pressures of the cost-of-living crisis.
We remain fully committed to working in partnership with all of our Trade Union partners. This is the final £17.2m to get a package worth more than half a billion over the line which will increase the wages of our lowest paid employees by £2000 a year, for the second year in succession, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
We call on Unison to put the decision of Leaders today to their members and give the workforce the chance to decide. In doing so we would very much hope that they stand down all strike action to ensure our children and young people experience no further disruption.